A slightly unusual choice for this week’s book, In praise of Slow: how a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed, by Carl Honore, but it presents some interesting suggestions whatever your background. Last week I took the opportunity to attend a staff development workshop, ‘Mental De-Clutter’. I actually applied to attend this time last year, but such was the demand from staff to de-clutter, a waiting list was formed. Simple techniques such as mindfulness (meditation) were recommended to help us slow down and aid focus, alongside methods to sort our priorities with the urgency/importance matrix (Covey, 2004) and a better understanding of the reactionary ‘chimp’ in our brain (Peters, 2012). It provided some useful techniques to take charge of our chattering minds. If, like me, you think about doing those things until you get really busy and overwhelmed then perhaps its time to consider the Slow Movement, making ‘slow’ a conscious lifestyle choice.
Honore is swift to point out that slow doesn’t equate to laziness or stupidity, but that a slower approach to life can be beneficial to all aspects of our lives including productivity at work. He examines the impact and rationale of doing everything faster, ultimately resulting in the ‘Age of Rage’. Chapters throughout the book focus on the Slow Food, Slow Sex and Slow Cities movements and then on the benefits of working less hard and the importance of being at rest. An enjoyable read with lots of examples, it is one that I will read from cover to cover.
The book was published over 10 years ago now, so if you want to find something more recent, then why not have a look at some articles on the library’s Discovery Service. Urbanism students, for example, will find lots of results relating to the Slow City Movement.