Top 10 Advantages to Slowing Down

slowing down

10 Advantages to Slowing Down

I recently finished reading Small Change by Susan & Larry Terkel. The beginning of the book had a great chapter on how to apply small changes to your life. Like many of our clients who are trying to make changes, doing something large is overwhelming and often left untried. Susan & Larry suggest that small changes will add up to something big in the end.

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On top of chapters on health, relationships, creativity, and work, the chapter that resonated with me the most was small change for more happiness. Isn’t that what we are all about, living a happy life.

There was a section in the chapter on Slowing Down and the first line is, “Are you always in a hurry?” They suggest that one small change you could make is to slow down. It will make a difference in all areas of your life. The authors suggest 10 advantages to doing this exercise.

Slowing Down

  1. Allows you to be more careful and lessens the chance of accidents
  2. Removes much of the stress caused by hurrying and worrying about it
  3. Makes you a safer driver
  4. Helps you to be more patient with everyone
  5. Gives you time to think before you speak, talk more slowly, and listen more carefully
  6. Allows you to be more mindful
  7. Makes you eat more slowly and allows you to enjoy your food
  8. Enables you to rely less on fast  and processed food and more on home-cooked meals and pleasant dining experiences
  9. Allows you to entertain more easily and make your guests feel more welcome
  10. Makes you feel as though you had more time to live life

In our fast-paced world, it may be hard to consider slowing down, but if you want to improve one of these 10 areas of your life, slowing down may be the ticket.

In conclusion, try to do everything a little slower.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

26 Comments

  1. Linda Samuels on July 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Janet- I love the emphasis on slowing down. It’s true that in our society of “fast” and “instant,” we often rush around so much that we miss many beautiful moments, conversations, interactions, and feelings. Slowing down enables us to be present and appreciative of where we are, who we’re with, and what we’re doing. Thank you for this post, the reminder and for letting me know about the book. Adding it to my “Books to Read” list.

    • Basic Organization on July 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks for reposting. I really work at slowing down to reduce the stress in my life. Keep running fast!

    • Basic Organization on July 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Linda, your comments hit the mark. I think that you must take time to appreciate what you have to be happy. I liked the first few and last few chapters of the book the best, only because that is what I can apply to my life.

  2. September is Self-Improvement Month on September 3, 2012 at 4:27 am

    […] I read a book called Small Change and posted 2 blogs on my thoughts on the book. Here they are  Ten Advantages of Slowing Down and More Thoughts on Small Change. I found it to be an enlightening book and I am still continuing […]

  3. Janet Barclay on November 4, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t feel like I’m in a rush all the time, but I do find it very hard to just “be” and not “do” so I guess that’s the same thing. There are definitely items on your list that resonate with me!

    • Janet Schiesl on November 4, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      I’m working on slowing down too. I think society values busyness way too much. I am trying to focus on being more mindful but it’s a process.

  4. Anne Lyons on November 20, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Such simple concepts that are so powerful!

    • Janet Schiesl on November 20, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks Anne. Simple concepts are easier to maintain. Don’t you think.

  5. Hazel Thornton on November 22, 2020 at 8:53 am

    This reminds me of my time management clients. They are often seeking ways to do more. In the process of decluttering their schedules, obligations, and task lists, I can usually influence them to do less. Slowing down and being more mindful of what we are doing leads to the 10 advantages you have listed….and more!

  6. Janet Schiesl on November 22, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Thanks Hazel. You are right. Focusing on the important things and letting the rest go is important in slowing down.

  7. Diane N Quintana on July 12, 2021 at 7:55 am

    I like the idea of slowing down and taking time to think before I speak. I get into trouble sometimes when I speak and offer an opinion before taking time to really think through the consequences.

  8. Seana Turner on July 12, 2021 at 9:32 am

    This reminds me of a phrase I once heard, “Hurry and love are incompatible.” When I am in a rush, as you say, I am less patient, listen poorly, more likely to lose my temper, on edge.. it’s all bad. I seek to allow myself extra time in my schedule so I can avoid this as much as possible. I just don’t like my “hurried self” very much!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 12, 2021 at 2:26 pm

      I like the phrase. I also notice when I get busy and rushed I get stressed and am not the nicest person.

  9. Ronni Eisenberg on July 12, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Janet,

    I often think of the phrase “hurry up and slow down.” I can find myself racing and then have to tell myself to absolutely stop and slow down. I want to enjoy what I’m doing and I can’t if I’m racing through it.
    My favorite reason that you mention is, ” Makes you feel as though you had more time to live life.” It’s so true. I want to appreciate all that I’m doing and give myself the time to do it.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 12, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      Ronni, in the military it was “hurry up and wait”. Same meaning. I feel more focused when I slow down.

  10. Linda Samuels on July 12, 2021 at 10:19 am

    I don’t like rushing, running, or moving quickly. I plan my time to reflect that with spaciousness in between appointments and transitions. The word “savor” comes to mind. In slowing things down even slightly, I can appreciate small things that I could easily miss. These relate to not just visceral sensations and sights but even in conversations and interactions with others.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 12, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      You write as though you live intentionally, so I’m not surprised by your comment.

  11. Sabrina Quairoli on July 12, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Small changes are so much more important than large ones. I always loved doing small changes because they never overwhelmed me while doing the goal. This is a great reminder! I’m definitely sharing this one on social media.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 12, 2021 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks for sharing Sabrina.
      Small changes work best. It’s kind of counterintuitive to what we do when working with clients. But in those instances, we are trying to get them back to a workable situation.

  12. Katherine Macey on July 12, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Rushing leads to mistakes and stops us from living in the moment. If you’re always thinking three steps ahead, how can you enjoy what’s in front of you? Thanks for this reminder, Janet : )

    • Janet Schiesl on July 12, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks Katherine. I’m still working on slowing down. It’s not natural to me.

  13. Julie Stobbe on July 12, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    A few years ago I slowed down. I stopped booking too many things in a day. I stopped leaving late so I would have to drive fast. I walk slower when I am doing groceries or shopping. I really started to enjoy everything I was doing because I was not rushing. I could notice all the interesting things happening around me and it made my life fuller.

  14. Janet Schiesl on July 13, 2021 at 9:47 am

    It sounds like you do things with intention now. Great. I try to end my workday at noon a couple of days a week. It allows me time to sit and do nothing or do something I love, just for myself.

  15. Julie Bestry on July 13, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Such smart stuff. Related to #6 and mindfulness, when you only do one thing and a time and do it at a natural instead of sped-up pace, you’re much more likely to remember what you’ve done so that you can recall details, evaluate the process after the fact, and repeat the process again. When you’re zooming, your eyes are on the finish line and not on the mile markers. I’ve learned that I can pack more in a day by doing things more quickly, but I get so much less enjoyment. These tips are sound advice!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 14, 2021 at 8:50 am

      Slowing down certainly helps me be more mindful. How did we get into such a rat-race?

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