Productivity Tools? Time Management Techniques? First You Need a Strategy: Slow Down FAST

In our fast paced life we seem to come up with fail proof techniques for productivity, but then it seems like our plates are so full we will never get to everything.  In today’s world the fast paced life is what most people strive for; thinking that that is what leads us to fulfillment, happiness and success.  We need to slow down and take the time to analyze everything in our lives and open our eyes to our choices, goals, possibilities, decisions, and questions such as ‘Am I really happy? Excited? Fulfilled?’  Slow down fast means that we stop to analyze our lives, take the time to appreciate what we really have and start living our life today and not tomorrow.Ok … you have all your productivity tools in place. You have a rock-solid time management system. You have a seemingly-workable plan. But something isn’t quite right. You feel that, now, more than ever, you’re being stretched beyond your limits. Things are happening so quickly you barely have enough time to experience them, let alone enjoy them.

Maybe what’s missing isn’t all the tools and techniques. Maybe it’s your strategy.

The fact of the matter in today’s world is that slowing down is counter-intuitive.

  • We live fast and hold it in high esteem.
  • We compare ourselves to others – we think that those who look busy are happy, excited, and fulfilled – things we’re looking for or missing in our lives.
  • We fill our lives to the brim. We keep cramming things into our lives ever-searching for the combination of things that will provide us the most pleasure, and we distract ourselves from the tough questions – what’s really important: our values, beliefs, wants, needs, and how to achieve them.
  • “Slow” in our society means: lazy, a slacker, a screw-up, or someone who is dumb.

We need a paradigm shift that allows us to jump off the fast-track to nowhere.

  • Speeding around takes away our power to choose. Slowing down increases creativity, productivity, enjoyment, and fulfillment.
  • It’s hugely beneficial to take the time to look at a problem or challenge by bringing your insights and perspective. This opens your mind to new possibilities. Creativity expands from there.
  • Decisions are made deliberately, consciously, and intuitively instead of relying on old habits, conventions, and paradigms.
  • It’s essential to take the time to stop and think about what your life is like, what you’re doing, and where you’re going if you ever expect to get there.
  • Slowing Down to take the time to ask yourself: Am I really happy? Excited? Fulfilled? Is this what I want?” allows you to actually achieve those things.
  • Taking the time to savor your life enables you to live your life today, not for tomorrow.

We need a different strategy other than trying to have it all, trying to do it all, and trying to be everything to everybody.

What we want, need, and crave is to Slow Down FAST.

What does it mean to Slow Down FAST?

  • Slowing down is the best and most efficient/effective way of giving yourself permission to go fast. When you make each decision a mindful, intuitive, and intentional one, instead of a pre-programmed one (that is when you act instead of re-act), you will avoid the distractions, interference, and loss of time (and money) that extemporaneous decisions cause.
  • To Slow Down FAST means that we should STOP, then Think, Act, and Live fully today, creating the freedom of time to use however you’d like TODAY , instead of always postponing things until tomorrow. This is in direct contradiction to the convention of the deferred life plan that we’ve all been taught – that if we just work hard enough and long enough our lives will turn out fine, eventually, and it will all be worth it in the end (Slave – Save – Retire as described by Tim Ferriss).
  • It means doing the heavy lifting now – taking a look at what your life looks like – your values and beliefs – and designing a life in support of those things.
  • It means taking your blinders off, quitting running from one thing to another, coming up for air every once in a while only to plow ahead again. It means slowing that voice (or those voices) down in your head, and asking yourself Am I really happy? Is this what I really want?
  • It means not trying to have it all and do it all NOW – trying to accelerate everything and experience everything and be in such a hurry because time is the new currency. You can’t have it all and do it all, despite what the media and popular culture tell you. As Harvard Professor Ben Tal-Shar, creator of the popular Positive Psychology course there, happiness is the ultimate currency.
  • It means using technology for what it was intended for – not only to help us to accomplish more in shorter periods of time, but to aid us in our leisure. To learn to use the “off” button that comes with every piece of technology instead of filling our schedules and pushing ourselves to the edge of exhaustion.
  • It means that you’re making life harder than it has to be.
  • It means that life is too short – you had better do something to enhance your quality of life NOW instead of the quantity of things in your life, and FAST.

Give it a try.

Many thanks to Wanda Grindstaff of Creating Abundant Lifestyles for including this post in the Success and Abundance Mindset Carnival.

2 Replies to “Productivity Tools? Time Management Techniques? First You Need a Strategy: Slow Down FAST

  1. It also means focusing. Focus on what needs to be accomplished and let the little things go by the wayside. That way, you don’t feel so overwhelmed.

  2. Red,

    Absolutely! I’ve shared my thoughts on focus in my article PRODUCTIVITY, EFFICIENCY, EFFECTIVENESS, and FOCUS – Doing the Next Right Thing

    Here’s why I agree with you (excerpt):

    It’s about being focused, centered, and engaged. To strive to do the next right thing, you want to:

    * You want to be introspective, constantly examining your thoughts, beliefs, and values to relate what you’re experiencing – what’s directly in front of you that you want to accomplish – to what you’ve experienced in the past.

    You want to bring all your creative talents to bear upon the moment at hand to look at opportunities and challenges from all angles, considering the alternatives, and opening your mind to the new possibilities.

    * You want to take the time to stop and think about what you’re doing and where you’re going – to have a sense of direction.

    * You want to operate on instinct. You want to be able to know and act without having to undergo the process of examination at every turn.

    You want to reorder your life so that all the extraneous clutter is removed from your thought process.

    Remove the distractions – it’s fairly straightforward to figure out what they are –and you’ll find yourself more alert, awake, aware, and alive. You’ll find that you’ll be clearer and more focused about doing the next right thing.

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