A few things about slowness.
A while back Matt Steel wrote a powerful post about how easy it is, in the rush of life, to lose perspective and forget that when we slow down, priorities often become clearer:
"The story I told myself was that slowness and emptiness were the same thing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve found recently that when the time is used well, slowness can actually be one of the most profound sources of abundance."
Seth Godin writes about how easy it is, in an age of real-time information, unlimited digital shelf space, and sharp spikes of attention, to forget that we are also living in the golden age of 'Slow Media'. Media and content where the goal isn't always to get it out there quicker (or make it noisier) than everyone else, but to simply say something worth saying and do it in a way that's worth waiting for:
"It might not be obvious media, or easy to understand media, or easily digested media, but that's okay, because slow media is not mass media. Slow media is not for the distracted masses, it's for the focused few."
Antony Mayfield writes about working fast and slow, and the temptation to constantly work as fast as possible through ever-expanding to-do lists and sometimes missing the benefits that might come from slower activities:
"Reading and reflection – and blogging, for me – are slower modes. They aren’t execution, though. People engaged in reading and reflection look more leisurely than industrious. It feels hard to give time to these slow activities – we want to feel the heartening rush of momentum and be seen to be in the process of moving forward. It feels like progress. Even if it is slightly mindless, lacking in insights and depth that would have been added by spending time working slowly."
I'm not really big on new year resolutions but one of the things I promised myself that I'd try and do for last year was to create a bit more space. Whilst I worked pretty hard at it, I have to say that I found it tougher than expected and that, on balance, I think I was less than successful. So it continues to be an objective of mine. And it's good to be reminded of how important being slow, as well as being fast, really is.