Fast living

Remember this viral short film that came through your inbox last year? This wouldn’t happen in most offices I know…

Along with many of you, probably, I started work back in the office on Monday. Two days later, I have a cold, am dizzy and started to feel hectic again.

Fast Living comes from the Outside

I notice a pressure (especially in the business world, but it’s getting through to family life and social life) to do more, get more, do it faster, do it with fewer resources. But this is not our own doing. It’s an external thing.
I’m not saying it’s bad. That’s how we evolve. It’s the law of the jungle – be faster, or die. But we’re getting to be faster than we were designed to be. And sometimes, just sometimes, our own bodies say “Hey! I’m not able to do this anymore.”  We get sick, not necessarily with some uncurable disease, but with little things. We get tired and we can’t seem to hold the tiredness off. And when we get home, we are either too exhausted to do anything else, or need to keep the same pace, and look for additional things to check off the list.

We each have our own rhythm. I know I was in mine just a few days ago.
That’s why we look for vacations like gasping for air when swimming underwater.

Don’t succumb to Fast Living

I know, there’s not enough hours in the day to do all you want.
But the easiest way to fight off Fast Living is to focus on what matters.

At work:

1. Slow down. Don’t rush into completing tasks. Think “What is the final purpose of this?” and “Can it be done in a simpler way?”

2. Check your email as rarely as possible. Ok, at least 2 times a day though. But don’t rush to your inbox every time you see the little envelope in the right side of the screen. As a matter of fact, take it out completely. You have this option.

3. Make a plan.  Share it with your team. Get them engaged, not because you’re the boss, but because they believe in it.

4. Delegate. You don’t have to do everything yourself. And yes, some people may be better at that.

5. When a “super-urgent” thing comes, ask Is it ok if I deliver it tomorrow/the day after/next week?” I’ve seen many times when that report that was needed “yesterday” was either not used, or the meeting got delayed. Be honest when you’re communicating your delivery times. People tend to put buffers “I’ll say today, so that I’m sure I have it in my inbox tomorrow by noon.”

6. Prioritize. Choose 2-3 most important things for the day. Do them all, and do them well. Hold yourself accountable. For the rest, use the strength of your people. Ask them to come with ideas.

7. Single task. Focus on one thing at a time. That’s where the word “focus” comes from. One thing.
(I know, I know, it’s nearly impossible, but get yourself at it and keep trying – it should be the “natural”, not the “desired, but impossible” way of doing things)

8. Remember…sometimes, things can be left undone. Maybe they weren’t that important. (But shhh, don’t tell anyone I said that)

With friends:

Focus 80/20. Spend 80% of your time with those 20% of friends/social gatherings/events where you really want to be.
The rest might not remember you anyway in a few months.

At home:

Cook. Make your own food. Eat healthy. Eat gourmet-like. At least from time to time.
Chew slowly. Enjoy the taste.


Leo Babauta of Zen Habits said it even better here:

“When we slow down, we move at a more leisurely pace, we don’t feel so rushed, we’re not trying to cram too many things into our day. And most importantly, we have time to think about what’s important, rather than just doing things as fast as we can.”

What’s your take on it? How do you fight the hectic of “back to work”?

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1 Comment
  • payday loans canada
    February 2, 2010

    The writer of has written a superior article. I got your point and there is nothing to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not disagree with: All light beers are awful I will be back.

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