In Praise of Slow

In Praise of Slow
Title: In Praise of Slow
Author: Carl Honore
Date Reviewed: 31st July 2010
8 out of 10
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My brother bought me In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed a few years ago. I began reading it then, enough to know that it was going to be an enjoyable read, but for some reason I never finished it – I guess too much speed in my life got in the way.

Whilst sorting through our books recently I came across it again and decided to give it another go. I have to admit I was slightly resistant to the concept at first – I’m running a business, so speed is important, right? But after a while I was completely hooked and the ideas really began to sink in.

So, what’s the book about? It’s all about the Slow movement – a movement to slow down on the basis that slower is better. It covers lots of angles – food, cities, exercise, medicine, sex, work, leisure and education. It’s an absolutely fascinating read, taking examples from all over the world to build up a picture of how many people are benefiting from a slower approach.

I am absolutely convinced that slowing down in my leisure time will benefit me. If I allow myself to take my time and not feel like I have to rush through everything in the evenings and at weekends, I should be a much more chilled out person able to take things in my stride and enjoying what I do more.

However, applying it to my work is another matter. I have a fear that if I slow down too much at work then that will have a negative affect on productivity. But, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing I can take away from the book in terms of running a business – I don’t think I’m going to be taking catnaps at work but regular breaks to clear my mind will definitely be a good idea. It’s made me realise that I’m working flat out for most of the day, apart from a short pause for lunch. That can’t be good can it? In theory if I have regular breaks I should actually become more productive.

And, an important message from the book is that you don’t have to do absolutely everything slowly. There are occasions when speed is appropriate.

I highly recommend this book. It can help you slow down enough to think about how you do things and will definitely make you look at things differently.

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