The Speedy Turtle

When going slower means producing faster

Attention spans are getting shorter around the world. The demand for speed is greater and greater.

At the same time, we are entering an era where most of the jobs will require a resource that is getting scarcer: deep work.

Attention span disorders plus maniac addiction to speed. Is this the way to produce deep and thoughtful work? How can you reliably access the flow state and produce remarkably good work?

I have written about how to improve attention span in other posts. Here I’ll provide an approach to tackle the second problem of modern knowledge workers: need for speed.

Going fast and stopping, going fast and stopping is not a good way of achieving flow. Flow is achieved by starting really slow, really purposeful, you refrain yourself from going fast and then you start accelerating.

To some personality types, slowing themselves down could be a way of increasing their productivity.

For me, productivity speed works like a car with manual transmission trying to get speed but using the 5th gear from the start.

I you have ever driven a car with manual transmission you know that you have to start with the 1st gear and change them as you go faster. If you start from the 5th then you will have very little power to move the car.

Same with productivity, your will is very weak at the beginning but as you keep going, slowly at first, you gain momentum and scape velocity, you keep going.

The basic idea here is to use the technique Michelle Segar uses with the creation of satisfactory and repetitive experiences in sports to make her students motivated to train.

What Sager does is try to find something, some little activity that is enjoyed by her students, it could be a game, or any enjoyable physical activity. The important thing is that the student have to like the work out, it has to be enjoyable even if it is really really small.

Then, she starts growing from there. Building new routines and exercises on top of that.

So remember, next time you want to achieve a flow state and produce good quality work just slow down to go faster.