As the pace of our working lives accelerates, as expectations become higher and the race to grow gets faster, some of us are finding that we want to slow things down a bit.


The slow movement emerged in 1986 in response to the rise of fast food, which at that time was becoming more widespread in Italy. The movement subsequently spread to other areas of life with the introduction of concepts such as “slow food”, “slow cities”, “slow sciences” and “slow education”. “Slow management” or “slow business” is just one form of this more general movement.

You have to admit that, generally speaking, your way of working isn’t exactly efficient. Your conscientiousness, combined with a thirst to discover new things, means that you often throw yourself into a pile of documents and scribble pages of notes before getting down to writing something up properly. The idea behind this “quest for inspiration” is to find that key idea that will dictate the structure of your article, the examples you choose, etc. However, you often find that reading too much can lead to an information overload and confuse your thought process. The idea you started out with gets lost among other new avenues for exploration (suggested by your boss…) that pull you in completely different directions… It’s only then you realise to your amazement that the deadline is looming – it’s time to tie it all up and submit. At this stage, you’re forced to cut out a bit here, prune a bit there and polish some of your wording. “Perfect is the enemy of good”, as the saying goes…

Put simply, you need to prioritise by:
• cutting down that pile of documents (which is only going to get bigger);
• limiting the amount of time you spend writing (by setting yourself strict deadlines);
• reducing the requirements you have to fulfil.

Pioneers of the “Slow Business” movement include Yvon Chouinard, a Canadian entrepreneur who has built up a successful sports equipment company while reportedly spending most of his time climbing and hiking (let your boss get used to the idea first…), and Jason Fride, another champion of slow management who runs his business while managing to work just 25 hours a week!

The secrets of Slow Management
• Manage your time with the aim of using resources as economically as possible.
• Adopt simple rules.
• Adjust your time to your actual goal and a given number of requirements.
• Identify and shelve time-consuming projects.

No matter what a project involves, remember that it will always “take more time, cost more money and bring in less than you had anticipated”.

How about you? Are you ready to slow down to boost your performance and efficiency?