Slow Down, Grow More

You have an idea. It’s a great idea. You gather materials and carry it out. It doesn’t work. You give up. What made you think that would work, anyway?

Slow motion water burst from 3dverstas
Slow motion water burst from 3dverstas

Wait. Act fast, fail fast, criticize fast. All that speed doesn’t allow you to learn a damn thing. Cutting your losses doesn’t teach you anything except how to cut.

There is a huge benefit to doing things slowly. We live in a super-fast culture, but it’s the same culture that doesn’t like mistakes, that encourages blamestorming as a fair shot in competition. What’s the benefit of slowing down?

Slow motion water burst by 3dadverstas

You can anticipate. Slowing down let’s you think before you act. You can think through the next several steps to see if they are what you want, if those steps move you to the result. If they don’t, you can choose another plan.

Slowing down saves time. Anticipating helps you plan more than one step ahead, create a Plan B, and discover options. All that saves time. Saving time reduces anxiety and possibly money. All because you slowed down.

Practice helps you get it right. Slowing down allows you to practice your steps before you have to do them. Practicing anything, from a piano concerto to a speech, makes you better at it. “Winging it” will just result in making your mistakes public. Slow down. Practice. Then when you do it, it will work, and you will know how come it worked. That allows you to do it again–the right way.

Slowing down slows time down. When time slows down, you see more and you understand more. The more you understand, the more you learn, the more you can use what you know.

Excellence takes time. No one was born an expert. You are not the exception. When you do things step by step you can see mistakes, often before you make them. You have more time to do each step, if you aren’t racing. John Wheeler, the physicist, said, “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.” Take advantage of time.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer, trainer and life coach. She understands the value of slow.

12 thoughts on “Slow Down, Grow More

  1. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers talks about it taking about 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. You can’t be particularly fast about that!

  2. Not only taking it slowly, but giving myself permission to really focus on only one thing to develop the skill. There are plenty of crazy, busy days ahead, so this day is a great day to appreciate the slowness. I hope you post about your adventures at JournalFest, as I really, really wish I had been able to go this year!

  3. Thank you for this post. I am always putting myself down for being so slow at doing everything. I take ages deciding the next step and want to do everything more quickly. Very comforting to read this post.

  4. LOL, okay, I just finished reading a blog post – seeing a very intricate, doodled art journal page. And my thought was — who has time for THAT??? I certainly don’t!
    But really, I don’t HAVE to finish a page in a journal in one sitting, do I? Anyway, great post as usual!

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