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Wellbeing / Work life balance

Hurry up and slow down

Moving slowly can be an attractive sentiment, but can you get by in today’s speedy environment chugging along in the left-hand lane? I think you can.

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Support of this theory came my way last week in the form of a wonderful article in Fast Company Magazine (spot the irony!). In the article Jason Fried of 37 Signals fame shared his opinion of some of the mad habits of fast-growth businesses and the false impression they give of success.

Of course, moving slowly doesn’t mean we have to sneer at those who whiz past. In fact, I’ve trained myself to pretty well ignore them.

To help get you in the slow-and-steady mindset, here are some of Jason’s points mixed with a few of my own:

"Moving slowly doesn’t mean we have to sneer at those who whiz past. In fact, I’ve trained myself to pretty well ignore them."

When the weather’s good, work less

I won’t argue with that one. Each summer 37 Signals prompts its staff to work a four-day week… if they want to. Right now, I need to work five, but I’m going to start a little later on some days and will do more of my thinking while outside.

Encourage quality ahead of speed

Want more articles like this? Check out the work-life-balance section.

I like to think we do that quite well already. Just this week we gave ourselves permission to nudge a big project back a few months, and it felt good.

Think long term and avoid short-term burnout

Too many soloists fall out of love with their business; it’s one the major causes of business closure. If you’re heading towards burnout it’s time to do things differently.

Look after your main talent

That’s you, silly. Put your wellbeing at the top of the list.

Choose a good role model

Jason Fried’s role model is the woman who cleans his apartment. She’s friendly, efficient, caring and loves her work. Makes a change from Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.

How fast are you going now? Hurry up and tell us.

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.

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