How to Thrive in a Fast World – by Slowing Down | Carl Honore | Skillshare

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How to Thrive in a Fast World – by Slowing Down

teacher avatar Carl Honore, Voice of the Slow Movement

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

67 Lessons (1h 12m)

    • 2. Wake-Up Call

    • 3. Slow is a Challenge

    • 4. Ground Rules

    • 5. Speed check

    • 6. Meditation

    • 7. Slow Questionnaire

    • 8. Slow Work

    • 9. Take a Break

    • 10. Solo Breaks

    • 11. Solo breaks 2

    • 12. Breaks Together

    • 13. Breaks Together 2

    • 14. TIPS: Breaks

    • 15. Work Less, Work Better

    • 16. How To Work Less

    • 17. Working Less

    • 18. Taming Technology

    • 19. How to Unplug 1

    • 20. How to Unplug 2

    • 21. Unplugging at Work

    • 22. Slow Communication 1

    • 23. Slow Communication 2

    • 24. TIPS: Taming Tech

    • 25. Do Less, Think More

    • 26. Not-To-Do List

    • 27. Not-To-Do List 2

    • 28. Just Say No

    • 29. How To Say No

    • 30. Saying No

    • 31. Multitasking Myth

    • 32. How To Uni-task

    • 33. Uni-tasking Payoff

    • 34. Think Slow 1

    • 35. Think Slow 2

    • 36. Think Slow 3

    • 37. Better Meetings

    • 38. Slow Thinking

    • 39. Thinking TIPS

    • 40. Final Thoughts: Work

    • 41. Can't Hurry Love

    • 42. Personal Audit 1

    • 43. Personal Audit 2

    • 44. Play More

    • 45. How To Play More

    • 46. Better Relationships

    • 47. How To Listen Better

    • 48. Slow Listening 1

    • 49. Slow Listening 2

    • 50. How to Listen at Work

    • 51. Listening at Work

    • 52. Slow Food

    • 53. Eating Slow

    • 54. Cooking etc

    • 55. Your Slow Meal

    • 56. Slower Tech

    • 57. Connect Better

    • 58. Unplug and Go

    • 59. Phone Stacking 1

    • 60. Phone stacking 2

    • 61. Gadget Control 1

    • 62. Gadget Control 2

    • 63. Taming Tech 1

    • 64. Taming Tech 2

    • 65. Taming Tech 3

    • 66. CONCLUSION


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About This Class

Do you live in fast forward? Always rushing, always busy, always distracted?

Do you yearn to slow down?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place!

For nearly 20 years I’ve been exploring the how and why of slowing down in a fast world.

I’ve written three books, made TV and radio programs and delivered hundreds of presentations and workshops on the subject. My first TED talk is called “In Praise of Slowness.” 

Now, I have distilled everything I know about slowing down into this course. 

It’s a practical, step-by-step guide to help you dial down the rushing, the distraction and the busyness in your life. To help you reconnect with your inner tortoise. 

The truth is that it is possible to slow down in a fast world. And not only is it possible, it is the best thing you will ever do for yourself and the people around you. 

Slowing down can make you:

  • More FOCUSED
  • More PRESENT

Slowing down can unleash a better you at work, at home and everywhere in between. In a world addicted to speed, slowness is a superpower.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's get started!

NB: Parts of this course also appear in my short course, Power of SLOW: Build Deeper Relationships.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Carl Honore

Voice of the Slow Movement


Hello, I'm Carl Honoré, voice of the Slow Movement. My TED talk on the benefits of slowing down has been viewed over 3 million times.

After working with street children in Brazil, I covered Europe and South America for the Economist, Observer, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, Time, National Post and other publications.

My first book, In Praise of Slow, examines our compulsion to hurry and chronicles a global trend toward putting on the brakes. The Financial Times said it is “to the Slow Movement what Das Kapital is to communism.”

My second book, Under Pressure, explores the good, the bad and the ugly of modern childrearing - and offers a blueprint for change. It was hailed by Time as a “gospel of the Slow P... See full profile

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1. INTRODUCTION: Hello, My name is Carl Andre and I'm a speed of Hollich or at least I used to be back in the bad old days. My life was a never-ending race against the clock. I was stuck in fast-forward. Always rushing, always busy, always distracted, never really there. And it took a toll. But then everything changed. What happened? I slowed down and guess what? The world did not come to an end. On the contrary, life got a whole lot better. Slowing down made me happier, healthier, more connected to others, as well as more productive and creative. I am now living my life instead of racing through it. And along the way, something quite unexpected happened. I literally wrote the book on slow and became the world's number one advocate for the slow movement. Now the time has come to move things to the next level. That means taking everything I've lived and learned over the last 15 years and distilling it into this course. My aim to inspire you to reconnect with your inner tortoise and show you how to start your own slow revolution. What are you waiting for? Let's get started. 2. Wake-Up Call: When we get stuck in fast-forward, it often takes a shock to the system or a wake-up call, something to make us realize that we've forgotten how to slow down. And that this is doing is real harm. For many people that wake up call comes in the form of an illness. One day your body just says, I cannot take the pace anymore. And you suffer a heart attack or a burnout or you just can't get out of bed one morning. Or maybe a relationship goes up in smoke because you haven't had the time or the tranquility to listen to the other person to be with them, to switch off your smart phone in bed? My wake-up call came when I started reading bedtime stories to my son. And at the end of the day, I would go into his bedroom and I just could not slow down. I'd sit on his bed with one foot on the floor and speed read Snow White, tried to skip a line here, a paragraph there, sometimes even a whole page. I became an expert in what I dubbed the multiple page turn technique. If you're a parent, that probably sounds horribly familiar, doesn't it? You get to the end of a page and you try to turn 123, even four pages at once. But of course, these tricks never worked because my son, like every 4-year-old, new the stories inside out. So he'd say, Daddy, why are there only three dwarves in the story tonight? What happened? A grumpy. So what should have been the most relaxed, the most intimate, the most tender, the most magical moment of the day, when a father sits down to read his story to his son, became instead a battle of wills. It was a war between my speed and his slowness. And this went on for some time until I caught myself speed reading a newspaper article with time-saving tips for fast people like me to go even faster. One of those tips mentioned a book called the one-minute bedtime story. Hans Christian Andersen, Brothers Grimm and even Snow White boiled down to 62nd chunks. My first reaction when I read those words was Hallelujah, what a great idea. I must get the whole set from Amazon tomorrow, drone delivery. But then my next reaction was very different. It was like in the cartoons when a light bulb goes on over your head and I suddenly thought, Whoa, has it really come to this? Am I really in such a hurry that I'm prepared to fob off my son with a soundbite at the end of the day. That's when I decided that I needed to change. I set off on a journey around the world and what I discovered is good news. Wherever you go nowadays, more and more people are doing the unthinkable. They're slowing down in every walk of life. And they're finding that contrary to what conventional wisdom tells us, which is that if you slow down, you're lazy, boring, unproductive, you're roadkill. The opposite turns out to be true that by slowing down judiciously at the right moments, people can work better, play better, live, better, added all up. And you have a slow movement. But it's not about doing everything at a snail's pace. That would be absurd. Slow is about doing everything at the right speed. Sometimes fast, sometimes slowly, sometimes completely stopped, and not doing anything at all. Slow is about quality over quantity. Doing things mindfully. It means doing things not as fast as possible, but as well as possible. You know what? It works. And trust me, if it works for me, it could work for you too. 3. Slow is a Challenge: Let's be honest here, slowing down can be hard to do, very hard. These days. The pressure to be fast, busy, connected all the time can seem irresistible. I traveled the world exploring how to beat the virus of hurry. And wherever I go I hear the same lament. People tell me I loved the idea of slowing down a urine to put on the brakes. I know I will be a better person and live a better life if I stopped rushing all the time. But I just don't know how to do it or even where to start. That's why I designed this course to help people like you move from theory to practice to show you how to turn aspiration into action. I've spent 15 years investigating the how and why of slowing down. I've been all over the world with this. And my conclusion is an optimistic one, that it's possible to slow down in a world hooked on speed. And not only is it possible, it's the best thing you will ever do for yourself? Reconnecting with your inner tortoise will make you happier and healthier, more connected, dynamic, and creative. It will unleash a better you even in the workplace. In this course, I will show you why slowing down is often the best policy in this vast world of ours. It's all here in chapter and verse. The science, the case studies, the numbers, the inspiring stories from around the world. But I won't stop there. I will also give you tips, tools, and techniques you can use to start your own slow revolution. I'll do this by focusing on three key areas, work, relationships and technology. Let's get started on the course. 4. Ground Rules: Before we get going, I want to suggest a couple of ground rules for the path ahead. First, that you'll give this course your full attention. That means not doing it on the morning commute or while cooking dinner or doing email. Fine times and places where you can give yourself over completely to watching, listening, practicing, experiencing, thinking and learning. I know I'm asking a lot, but think of it as an investment. If you give this course your full attention, you will get so much more back in return. Second Rule, always keep pen and paper handy for taking notes. This is crucial for remembering and making sense of what you learn along the way. And don't take notes on a screen. Studies show that we learn better and retain more when we take notes by hand, old-school. Another example of how slower can mean better. Now that we've felt the housekeeping out of the way. Let's begin. 5. Speed check: Before we dive into the course, I want to kick-start your SLO revolution right here, right now. Why? Because you may be experiencing the same doubts I once did. You may be hearing a little voice inside that says loved the idea of slowing down, but I can't even go there. My schedule won't allow it. My type a character won't allow it. My boss won't allow it, My Life won't allow it. I have a one-word answer to that little voice, F20. The truth is that all of us can slow down. If I can do it, then you can do to get the ball rolling for you. I want to share one of my favorite techniques for beating the virus of hurry. I call it the speed check. And it works like this. From time to time throughout the day. Take a moment to gauge how fast you're doing, whatever it is you're doing. It could be taking a shower, reading a word document, eating lunch, driving the car, or even taking notes for this course. Whatever it is, pause, create a real moment of awareness and ask yourself, am I doing this too fast? Could I slow down? If the answer is no, then just carry on as before. But if the answer is yes, and you'd be surprised how often the answer is yes. Then take five deep calming breaths and then go back to whatever you were doing. More slowly. Job done. That is the speed check. And like many of the tips and tools in this course, it's simple, free, and open to everyone, but it can make a big difference to how you live your life. So now, let's move on to the course itself. 6. Meditation: I want to start things off by talking to you about meditation. But don't run for the exit. Meditating doesn't mean you have to buy a set of crystals or become a monk or move to a commune in Southern California. Meditation or mindfulness to give it another name is for everyone, There's nothing mystical or esoteric about it. It's a simple tool you can use when you start to feel overwhelmed or overwrought. A tool you can use anytime, anywhere. That's because if you do it right, meditation can have an amazing effect on you. It curves anxiety and stress, boosts feelings of calm and sharpens concentration. It can make you happier and more creative. Over time. Meditation also rewires the brain so it can process information faster, which brings us to what I call the delicious paradox of slow. People who slow down and meditate are better able to cope with the fast-moving modern world than people who never slow down at all. That is why meditation and mindfulness programs are springing up throughout the working world. Just look at the list of companies on board. Google, Procter and Gamble, bows, HBO, Deutsche Bank, New Balance, Apple, Nike, General Mills, McKinsey. These are not aroma therapy cooperatives or yoga retreats. These are companies that are slugging it out in some of the fastest moving, most cutthroat sectors of the global economy. What are they telling their staff? Slow down with meditation? Or to put it another way. Don't just do something, sit there. But meditation, if you let it can also take you deeper. It can open your mind and heart to the really big questions that often get pushed aside by our fast lives. Questions like, who am I? What is my purpose here? What really matters to me? What kind of life do I want to live? How can I leave the world a better place than I found it? That's why I've put meditation right at the start of this course. Not only is it a splendid technique for slowing down and thriving in the daily grind. It also opens you up to pondering the kind of questions that will help you transform your life. Not only is it a splendid technique for slowing down and thriving in the daily grind. It also opens you up to pondering the kind of questions that will help you transform your life. And that is the purpose of this course after all, to help you bring about your own slow revolution. How does meditation work? It's very simple to help you get started. I've put together an audio clip to walk you through a 10-minute meditation. Use it now to get yourself in the right frame of mind to start the course. But you can also keep it in your back pocket to pull out later whenever things starts spinning out of control and you need an injection of good, slow. 7. Slow Questionnaire: Metrics can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes the numbers become more important than the thing they're supposed to be measuring. But it's always useful to benchmark your progress. And this course is no exception to that end. I've devised a short questionnaire. I want you to take a few minutes to fill it in. Now, there are only five questions, but together they will give you a clear and full picture of how you're slow revolution is progressing. Here's how to fill in the questionnaire. Give yourself a score of 0 to ten for each question where 0 is the worst possible scenario and ten is the best possible scenario. Here are the five questions. Number one, how happy are you? Number two, how is your physical well-being? Number three, how connected do you feel to other people? Number four, how well are you working? Number five, how much do you feel you're living the life you were meant to live? When you've finished, put the questionnaire side, Be sure to redo it every so often as we move through the course comparing the results to your earlier scores to give you a sense of how you're moving forward. Right? Now, it's time to dig into the course itself. So let's go to the next video, which is the introduction to slow and work. 8. Slow Work: Work is often the main engine of speed in our lives, and it can be very hard to slow it down. Why? One reason is that on the job you often have less control over your schedule, deadlines and workload. But the root cause is that speed has become synonymous with success. It's woven into our vernacular. You snooze, you lose, the early bird catches the worm, lunches for wimps. Of course, in the modern workplace, you have to be fast much maybe even most of the time. Faster is often better, but not always. And that is the key here. If you only have one speed at work and that speed is turbo, then you're heading for trouble. Not only will your health suffer, but even before burnout kicks in, there's a price to pay. Study after study shows that when we feel constantly rushed, we make more mistakes and are less creative and less productive. That is why the slow revolution is sweeping through the world of work. I want to walk you through the principles of slow in the workplace and then show you how to put them into practice. 9. Take a Break: Taking breaks can be hard to do in a culture that puts a premium on being busy, just stepping away from your computer. It can feel like an act of surrender or betrayal. But studies confirm what we all know from our own experience that human beings could only work or concentrate on a task for so long before productivity starts to dip and then nosedive. One example brings his home with a bang. The drug Heim group, a social networking company, recently took a long hard look at the working habits of its employees. And guess who turned out to be the most productive, not those who stayed chain to their desks hour after hour after hour. The most productive staffers are those who take regular breaks to rest and recharge to slow down. In other words, the ideal split, 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes of rest. And it turns out that how you rest is crucial to those productivity ninjas at the drug Heim group do not use their downtime to catch up on email or watch cat videos on YouTube. They step away from their computers and engage in activities that shift them fully into lower gear. So they might take a walk, read a novel, do yoga, stretches, or chat with colleagues, not about work. Let's look now at how you can start taking breaks at work. 10. Solo Breaks: Let's start with a simple exercise. Look at your work schedule for tomorrow or in other day this week. Pinpoint three moments during that day when you will take a ten-minute break, when you would normally just power through your desk, set a timer to remind you when to start your break and went to return to work and make sure you're taking a proper break. That means completely putting work to one side and chilling out with something else. Do a crossword puzzle, go for a stroll, get a coffee, and flirt with your favorite barista. After you've experienced your first day of taking breaks, it's time to reflect. 11. Solo breaks 2: Now sit down with pen and paper to reflect on what it was like to build a few blocks of slowness into your workday. How did you feel during the breaks? Did you notice any difference in the way you worked afterwards? Did you feel guilty or liberated, board or energized? Did you end up getting less done in the day or more? Print out these questions and really think them over part. Then try to sum up in one sentence what you liked about taking a break and keep it on a piece of paper for later reference. Now it's time to look at taking breaks when other people are involved. 12. Breaks Together : Taking breaks can be a lot harder when colleagues are around, especially if those colleagues never take breaks themselves. If you work in a shared space, you have to tackle the cult of business head-on. Bring together colleagues for an informal lunchtime meeting to discuss the merits of taking breaks, setup a trial day or week when everyone in the office downs tools at regular intervals. Once you've experienced your day or week with taking breaks together, find time to compare notes. 13. Breaks Together 2: Call a follow-up meeting to talk about how you all felt about taking breaks. Did everyone enjoy it? If not, why not? What would the benefits? Does taking breaks mean the same thing to everybody? How can you reconcile those differing styles? On a piece of paper? Try to sum up in a sentence or two what was good about taking breaks and then pin it up somewhere visible in the office as a reminder for everyone. Once you break the ice and feel comfortable with taking breaks, you'll be wanting some tips and ground rules for moving forward. 14. TIPS: Breaks: To help you consolidate what we've learned about taking breaks and to help you go further, I've put together a list of tips, hacks, and ground rules. I'll walk you through it now, but you can also download and print it out for future reference. Number one, build regular breaks into your work schedule, ideally every 52 minutes, but be flexible if you're on a roll or in the middle of a big thought, postpone the break till you're ready. One of the main benefits of slowing down, it's becoming more aware of what is going on in your body and mind. Once you're in tune with your own working rhythms, you will no longer need a timer to schedule breaks. You'll just take them when it feels right. A number to experiment to figure out your ideal length of break. Is it the holy grail of 17 minutes or closer to ten? Maybe sometimes all you need is five-minutes away from the coal face, whatever works for you in that moment. Number three, make it a rule to have your lunch away from your desk, even if it's just for 20 minutes, eat that salad or sandwich in the canteen or a park bench. Number four, find and use slow spaces. Many forward-looking companies are redesigning their offices to create dedicated spaces for staff to take breaks, think quiet rooms for meditation, yoga, massage, prayer, even power napping. If your workplace has a designated quiet zone, use it. If not, lobby to create one. Okay. Now it's time to look at taking more breaks away from the office. That's right. I'm talking about time off and vacation. 15. Work Less, Work Better: Taking breaks at work should be just the beginning. Many of us would also benefit from more time away from work altogether. Look at countries like Germany, Finland, Sweden, Holland. They weren't many fewer hours than rivals elsewhere. Yet their economies rank among the most competitive in the world. Why? One reason is their citizens are less burned out. They have enough time away from work to rest, eat well, exercise, develop hobbies and hangout with the people that matter to them. They could also let work problems similar in the back of their minds. When they do come into work, they are refreshed and ready to focus and deliver. That's why people are coming around to the idea that working less can mean working better. Even in the workaholic United States, companies are starting to give their staff more time off. Boston Consulting Group is one example. Another is the software giant 37 signals. Even on macho Wall Street, big financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Bank of America have started capping working hours for junior bankers and interns. And wherever the cut in working hours is done right, the result is always the same. Staff are happier and healthier, less error prone, and more productive. Now let's look at how you can reduce your working hours. 16. How To Work Less: Getting more time off can be tough. Sometimes the only way to cut your working hours is to change jobs. But many of us have room to wiggle it in our current workplaces often more than we think. In this section, I want to explore how to trim working hours in the job you have. Now, here's one exercise to get you started. If you work alone, fix a clocking off time, maybe six PM or seven PM and stick to it for a full week. Work often expands to fill the time available. So fixing boundaries can focus the mind and help you get more done in less time. If you work in a company or organization, why not propose a trial week where everyone goes home on time or when their work has done, rather than hanging around just to put in the FaceTime. Or if it's a quiet month and you're feeling bold, why not experiment with a four-day week when the trial run is over? Take a moment to reflect. 17. Working Less: After your experiment with reduced working hours, set aside a moment for a thorough debriefing what happened to productivity and creativity. Did you get all your work done? How do you feel? How his company morale? What did you like about working less? How could a cut in working hours be sustained in the long-term? Try to sum up in a sentence or two what was good about taking more time off and then pin it up somewhere visible as a reminder. Right? Now it's time to turn our attention to technology in the workplace. 18. Taming Technology: Now it's time to talk about technology and work. Let's start by getting one thing clear upfront. I am not a Luddite. The new technology is lots of fun and can do wonders for our productivity. I couldn't live without my iPhone or Mac book. But all of these gadgets come with an off button. And when we don't use that button, the technology starts to backfire on us. It actually makes us less productive. And that's the message coming from high-tech companies themselves. Studies by Microsoft and others have found that when an employee is in a state of deep concentration on a task and it's interrupted by an incoming message. It takes up to 23 minutes to get back to that same level of concentration. 23 minutes of your best thinking obliterated by a single message. Basics. It research firm estimates that electronic interruptions caused the average wired worker to waste 2.1 hours of work time every day. Every day. Hewlett Packard has warned that the constant barrage of electronic interruptions in the modern workplace causes our ICU default ten points. Think about that for a moment. Ten points is a lot. It's double the effect of smoking marijuana. We've swallowed this idea that seems so profoundly modern, that being always on, always connected, the person who answers every email instantly and picks up every phone call on the first ring is somehow going to turn us into an Uber productive master of the universe. When in fact, it's far more likely to turn us into teaching Chong or Charlie Sheen, which let's be honest, isn't very useful in most workplaces. That's why companies of all sizes and in every sector of the economy are looking for ways to put speed limits on the information superhighway. Here are some examples, Deloitte and Touche, IBM, Google, Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group. Volkswagen has tweaked It's Blackberry servers, so staff can no longer send or receive emails outside office hours. This is working so well that BMW and Pmax have done the same. The German interior ministry has also banned managers from contacting staff by phone or e-mail outside working hours unless it's an emergency. And we're not talking here about an inefficient Banana Republic. We're talking about Germany, the mightiest export machine the world has ever seen. Saying to its workers, switch off, unplug down tools. So what can you do to build a slower, healthier relationship with your gadgets? Let's find out. 19. How to Unplug 1: Let's start with an experiment. Set aside half an hour tomorrow when you turn off your phone and any other gadgets, when the time is up, look at what messages you missed while offline. Did a 30 minute delay cause problems or did life go on without your reading every message instantly? How did you feel about being offline? Where you anxious or do you feel more able to focus on what was happening around you? Now, I want you to use your phone to make a very short video of yourself in a sentence or two. Tell the camera what you liked about switching off for 30 minutes and then keep that clip on your phone for future reference. Now it's time to up the ante when putting speed limits on your information superhighway. 20. How to Unplug 2: Okay, so you've tasted what it's like to be offline for half an hour. Now Let's ratchet things up a little. Pick a day this week when you set aside two blocks of time for handling email and other messages, maybe half an hour in the morning and another late afternoon. The blocks can vary in length depending on what works best for you. The key is to focus on messages only during those designated blocks of time and state unplugged the rest of the day. Be sure to set an automatic reply telling people when you'll be back online and if you feel the need, how to reach you in an emergency at the end of the day, take a moment to think about what you learned. 21. Unplugging at Work: Okay, Now, grab a pen and paper to reflect on how the unplugging at work went. Did you feel less distracted? Did you worry about what was happening in your inbox when you switched off? Or did you manage to focus more fully on the real-world tasks at hand? Did you miss anything, life or death while unplugged? Now without that phone again, to shoot another short video clip in a couple of sentences, tell yourself what felt good about confining your technology to certain times of day and keep that video handy for later. Now, I want to walk you through another exercise to slow down the information superhighway. 22. Slow Communication 1: Now it's time to share with you a new twist on taming technology in the workplace. You know, all those electronic messages you send to people sitting within walking distance of your desk, newsflash, not all of them should be sent. Often it's a whole lot more efficient to use a slower form of communication, such as getting up from your desk, walking across the office and talking face-to-face with that other person. That's how you sort out a problem in five minutes. Instead of playing email ping-pong all afternoon without sorting out anything at all. Here's the next exercise, one day this week. Pause for a moment before you send any message to someone within sight of your desk, ask yourself, might be more efficient to handle this face-to-face. If the answer is yes, ignore the Send button and walk over to the recipient. Talk, listen, resolve, return to desk. Deploy this face-to-face approach three times during the day. At the end of the day, take a moment to look back on how it went. 23. Slow Communication 2: Take a moment to reflect on how mixing up the pace of your communication affected your work. Did you get more or less done overall? Did you feel more distracted or more focused? How did your colleagues react to your taking a slow approach to communication? Now, write the words. Stop, look, think on a post-it sticker and attach it to your computer or any visual cue that reminds you that sometimes old-school face-to-face communication, slow communication is the best option. Once you start feeling at ease with putting speed limits on the information superhighway, you'll be looking for more ways to do the same. 24. TIPS: Taming Tech: Here are some steps you can take to regain control over your technology. So the gadgets work for you rather than the other way around. Remember that all of these will require some explaining to clients and colleagues. Number one, switch off all notifications so you have to check manually for new messages and updates. Number two, at home, designate specific time slots for handling messages from the office and put your work linked gadgets in a drawer or cupboard the rest of the time. Number three, use your voicemail greeting and email auto replies to explain why you are offline and when you will be reachable again and give instructions on how to reach you in a life or death emergency. Number four, be very picky about who gets your number. Tried to give an office number to work contacts and confine your mobile to friends and family. Number five, encourage others in your network to take similar steps. Unplugging is like garlic and nudity. It's a lot harder to pull off when you're the only one of the crowd doing it. There is strength in numbers. Now it's time to explore the next principle of slow in the workplace, doing less and thinking more. 25. Do Less, Think More: A century later that sentiment is more relevant than ever. Why? Because it is precisely when things are moving so fast that we need to slow down and take the time to think deeply. That is the only way we can make sense of the rapid change and also shape and directed. The titans of business of always understood this back when he ran General Electric, jack Welch used to devote one hour a day to what he called looking out of the window time translation, he would stop doing and start thinking. When he was in charge of Microsoft, bill Gates used to hide away in a cottage in the woods for to think weeks every year. So let's now look at what you can do to get the right balance between doing and thinking in your workplace. 26. Not-To-Do List : Let's start by tackling the doing less part. Most of us are chronically trying to do too much and as a result, end up doing lots of things not very well. Let's look at how to trim your schedule. First, pull out your to-do list. Next, create a parallel not to-do list. Maybe it's a slip of paper or the note app on your phone, whatever works for you. Now, I want you to scan your to-do list for next week, find at least one thing you can ditch on each day meeting. You can cancel a dinner you conduct out of move it to the not to-do list, and move on. At the end of the week. Take a moment to look back on how the not to do list worked for you. 27. Not-To-Do List 2: Right? Now ask yourself, how did it feel to drop things from my to-do list? Worrying, liberating? If so, why did having a not to do list make your week seem less rushed? Did you feel like you had more time for the items that stayed on your to-do list, did you miss out on anything important by creating a not to-do list? In the future, I suggest you keep copies of your not to-do lists from previous weeks and that you glance at them occasionally. There were useful reminder that a lot of stuff that seems undrinkable at the time can actually be dropped without the world coming to an end. Of course, the only way to build a not to-do list is to learn how to say no. 28. Just Say No: The title of my first book is in praise of slow. And yet often I find myself talking in praise of no. Why? Because saying yes to everything locks you into a hurry life. When your schedule is stuffed to bursting point, you end up running just to stand still. That's why a first step to slowing down is doing less. And that means learning to say no, which can be very hard to do. Nobody likes saying No, we don't want to miss out or that other people down. No sounds so well negative. There's a reason that bill him from the first James Bond movie wasn't called Doctor Yes. If you are self-employed saying no to work can be terrifying because the first rule of freelance club is never turned down any word ever. I know who it is. I worked for myself too. But whether you're self-employed or not, saying no is essential for working and living better. Number one, it stops you being a doormat. Number two, it lightens your schedule so you can focus on the stuff that really matters. Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, once said, The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people saying no to almost everything, but saying no, it's not easy. I know that, you know that telling people to just say no is not enough. So how can you overcome the yes reflex and start saying no in your own life? Let's find out. 29. How To Say No: Here is an exercise to help you reclaim the word no. Tomorrow I want you to make a point of saying a firm but polite nob to three different people. Start by practicing on strangers. Small everyday moments. Say no to the guy handing out leaflets in the street to the Starbucks barista urging you to try and other type of coffee or the cold color Hawking car insurance on the phone. Remember that? No or no. Thank You. Can be a full sentence. You don't always have to justify yourself in any way. The more we explain, the more we start to waffle and doubt our own stance. Keep your nose short and sweet. At the end of the day, take a moment to reflect on your experience of saying no. 30. Saying No : Take a moment and ask yourself, how did it make you feel hearing the word no, rolling off your tongue, mean and selfish or free and powerful. It's saying No cause problems, or did it turn out to be a smaller deal than you'd imagined? Once you feel more ease with saying no, start trying it out when the stakes are higher. Blow off a social engagement, for instance, boycott a household chore, or turn down work. This last one is not as scary as it sounds, believe me, because I've been there and done that. The trick is to explain to your client why you're saying no, to give your best to the work you're actually doing. I find that rather than vanishing forever, that same client usually returns and later with another often better offer. And in the meantime, my working life is a lot healthier. Bottom line. In a world of yes men and yes women saying No makes you stand out from the crowd in a good way. Of course, doing less is only part of the equation because it's not just how many things we do, but also how we do them that matters, which is our cube. To take a look at the myth of multitasking. 31. Multitasking Myth: Multitasking is a myth. It doesn't work. The human brain, and that includes the female brain, I'm afraid I cannot multitask none of us, not even children reared in the digital age can think meaningfully about several things at once. And all the science bears this out. The bottom line is that much of what passes for multitasking is nothing of the sort. It's sequential. When you multitask, what you're actually doing is toggling back and forth between activities. For ten seconds, your attention is on this than five seconds on that, then 15 seconds on the other thing. And not surprisingly, all that toggling turns out to be just as sloppy and inefficient as it sounds. When you flip back and forth between tasks, you make more mistakes and take much longer, sometimes twice as long, than if you would perform each task one at a time. Multitasking seems efficient because it feels fast, busy, and active. But if you've learned anything so far in this course, I hope it's that fast, active, and busy do not always deliver the best results. On the contrary, the truth is that you will be more efficient if you slow down and do one thing at a time. Which is why it's time to look at the art of uni-tasking. 32. How To Uni-task: Multitasking is like a drug. It delivers a chemical buzz that keeps you coming back for more. One way to kick a drug addiction is to go cold turkey, but that often produces nasty withdrawal symptoms. That's why we're going to take a slower approach. I'm going to win you off multitasking with baby steps. This is what I want you to do. Next time you sit down to work in the morning, start off by listing all the tasks you want to achieve before lunch. Put them in whatever order feels right, and then work through the list from top to bottom one at a time to limit distractions, stay away from social media and electronic messaging. If a task further down your list suddenly becomes urgent, put the task in hand to one side and focus completely on the urgent work at lunch away from your desk. Reflect on your morning of uni-tasking. 33. Uni-tasking Payoff: Take a quiet moment over lunch to ask yourself, how did it feel to unit task? Was it relaxing, stressful, boring, challenging, where you're more productive or less productive? Did you feel less distracted? Were you more engaged with your work? Was the morning more or less enjoyable than usual? Now, ramp up your progress at another morning or an afternoon of uni-tasking to your schedule and build from there. Remember though that pruning your schedule and uni-tasking are just the start. Remember the other side of the do less, think more equation. I mean the thinking bid. 34. Think Slow 1: Now it's time to think about thinking. Remember that not all thinking is created equal. Often you have to think fast and on your feet. When you're in the middle of a negotiation or an online debate, you shoot from the hip. What I want to talk about now is a deeper, slower kind of thinking. When you take away the rush and stress and let the mind wander. Something rather wonderful happens when we are in a relaxed state, the brain shifts into a richer, more nuanced, more creative mode of thought. Psychologists actually call this slow thinking. And we all know it from experience. Don't we? Think for a moment, when do your best ideas come to you? My guess is they do not come to you when you're rushing to meet a deadline with the boss or a client breathing down your neck, nor do they come when you're juggling five emails in a phone call, your best ideas probably come when you slow down. They come when you're taking a long shower or lounging in bed on a Sunday morning or walking the dog in the park. My best ideas often bubbled to the surface after yoga or meditation. That's why it's so important to create the right conditions for slow thinking to happen. 35. Think Slow 2: It's one thing to sing the praises of thinking. It's quite another to do it in a world full of distractions, thinking, and I mean, deep slow thinking requires planning and discipline to start building that habit. Here's what I want you to do. Pick a day this week and book off two time slots for slow thinking. Maybe that's a half hour in the morning and another in the afternoon. Clear your calendar, switch off your phone and computer, shop the office door and focus your thoughts on a particular problem or on bigger strategic questions. During your SLO thinking sessions, be prepared for your mind to wander off and start contemplating lunch or your next box set on Netflix. Don't beat yourself up over it. It's just like meditation. Simply notice the diversion and gently steer your thoughts back to the problem at hand. And be sure to warn colleagues beforehand so they respect your SLO thinking time. They will probably want to follow suit. Trust me. At the end of the week, in your final slow thinking session, think about slow thinking itself. 36. Think Slow 3: Now take a moment to reflect on your SLO thinking exercise. Was it easy to do? Did you enjoy having the space and time to ruminate? Did you feel more creative? How did the experience affect your work for the rest of the day or week? Pick up a pen and paper and write down what you like most about your SLO thinking session. Keep this record for later reference, right? We've looked at how to start thinking slowly when you're on your own. But what about collectively? How can we get your whole team or department or even company to start taking more time to think. Let's start with how to harness the power of slow thinking in meetings. 37. Better Meetings: Let's talk about meetings now. We've all sat through them and we've all wish we were somewhere else. That's because most meetings are monumental waste of time. And why is that? One reason is that people come to them without having thought about what they want to say. They shoot from the hip. You all go off on one tangent and then another and another, and you end up wasting an hour or more without achieving anything. But what if we approached meetings differently? More slowly? Amazon already does. Now we've all read media reports about how workers in amazon warehouses are constantly rushed off their feet. Not good. But at the top of the company, Amazon has grasp the principle of slow thinking. Executives at Amazon start every meeting with a period of silence which can last up to 30 minutes. Now that sounds a bit weird, uncomfortable and even like a waste of time. But in fact, it's none of the above. Why? Because during that period of silence, the Amazon executives stop doing and start thinking. They read through in-depth reports put together by their colleagues, prepare their arguments, double-check facts, review the latest data. When it's time to start speaking. Everyone knows what they want to say and how they want to say it. Result meetings that are short and efficient. The complete opposite of the meetings most of us endure. And another example of the delicious paradox of slow. By starting the meeting slowly, you end up finishing faster and better. So why not take a leaf out of Amazon's book? Agree with your colleagues to start one meeting next week with a period of silent reflection. Be quiet and let the high caliber thinking begin. 38. Slow Thinking: While your first slow meeting is still fresh in everyone's mind, take a few minutes to compare notes. Did people feel the meeting went more smoothly? Did they enjoy the thinking time or find it uncomfortable? What worked and what didn't, what everyone consider building a period of silence into every meeting or just for certain meetings. Which ones and why? On a piece of paper, some up in a sentence or two, the benefits of kicking off meetings with a period of silent reflection and then pin it up near the meeting rooms in your workplace. Right? Now that we've been through a few exercises, It's time now for some ground rules for doing less and thinking more. 39. Thinking TIPS: Once you start doing less than thinking more, you'll be on the lookout for some ground rules. Here they are. Number one, every day, move at least one task to you're not to-do list, delegate outsource whenever you need to do do it. Number two, make a habit of saying no, at least three times a day. Number three, choose uni-tasking over multitasking wherever possible. Number for book in time, for slow thinking and don't let anything encroach on it. One way to do this is to schedule regular meetings with a made-up character, Mr. Smith or Ms. Jones. And then use that meeting time to down tools, unplug and ponder. Number five, schedule unscheduled time. Block off a few hours through the week when you don't plan anything in advance, when the time rolls around, do whatever fits your mood, or just enjoy doing nothing at all. Number six, create more in-between time. We tend to pack our schedules so tightly that we end up running from one thing to the next. If you normally scheduled ten minutes to get from one activity to the next, Schedule, 15 minutes instead, number seven, rise earlier, set the alarm ten minutes earlier every morning it's worth it. Trust me. So you have enough time to start the day in a more relaxed groove. Right? Now, turn to the next video for some final thoughts on slowing down in the workplace. 40. Final Thoughts: Work: A little while ago, The Economist magazine ran an article entitled in praise of laziness. It could easily have been called In Praise of slowness because it said all the same things I've been saying. To hear that to thrive in the modern workplace, you have to unplug, do less, recharge your batteries and think more slowly and deeply. That's not Buddhist monthly or yoga weekly. It's the economist, the in-house bible of global capitalism telling us to slow down. Bottom line, It's crystal-clear that slowing down can help you work better. But is that the end of the story? What the economists failed to do is ask the deeper questions. What has worked for? How much work is enough? How much money is enough? What really matters in life? These are the questions we should all be reflecting on alone and together. The only way to do that is to slow down. Because when you're stuck in fast-forward, you have neither the time nor the brain space nor the appetite to tackle the big questions. All you can think about are the small questions such as where my keys, I'm late. Some deep reflection would probably convince most of us that work should be less all consuming. After all, how many people lie on their deathbed and think, I wish I'd spent more time at the office. With that in mind, I'd like to turn your attention now to slowing down the parts of your life that go way beyond the workplace. 41. Can't Hurry Love: There are some things that you just cannot speed up and relationships are top of the list. You can't make somebody fall in love with you faster because you want to get married in June. You can't download a friend from Amazon because you need a companion to backpack around Asia with you next week. Time is the soil and the sunlight that make every relationship grow. Time spent together talking, listening, learning, sharing, crying, playing, laughing, arguing. When life gets too fast, too busy, too distracting, we stop investing enough time and attention in our relationships. And those relationships suffer. As a result, we end up with 821 friends on Facebook, but no one to turn to in a crisis. We're more connected now than ever before. But many of us feel alone. That's the bad news. The good news is that we can turn things around. We can all build strong relationships. How, by slowing down, of course. 42. Personal Audit 1: The most important relationship you have with yourself, that's the anchor for everything. If you're out of sync on the inside or if you find it hard to be alone, then you'll struggle to forge meaningful bonds with other people. How can you start to reconnect with yourself? Meditation is one way, but in this part of the course, I want to deploy another exercise. I call it the personal audit. Pick a day this week and block off 215 minute time slots outside working hours, switch off your gadgets and settle into a quiet, comfortable place with a cup of tea or coffee or whatever. Set your mind upon during those personal questions that often get forgotten as we charged through daily life. Am I Well, am I living the life I meant to be or just going through the motions? What makes me happy? What kind of life do I want to live? Where do I want to be in 510 or even 20 years? Again, be ready for your mind to wander off towards your grocery list or the latest gossip about the Kardashians. Don't beat yourself up over it. Just notice the detour and gently steer your thoughts back to those big questions. 43. Personal Audit 2: Sitting comfortably. Good. Then check in with yourself to see how the personal audit went. How did it feel to take time for deeper reflection? Was it scary or uncomfortable? What did you learn about yourself? Did the experience makes you want to change anything in your life? How can you make that change happen? The personal audit is an immensely useful exercise to do throughout this course. I especially recommend doing it each time you fill in the questionnaire. Before you fill it in. That is, but it's also worth making it part of your routine. It will help you keep in touch with yourself and what you want from the long term. After all, there's no point slowing down your life if you're living the wrong life to begin with, make a promise to yourself to do the personal audit once a week. Now let's explore another way to slow down and rebuild that relationship with ourselves. 44. Play More: It's time to talk about play. Play is a basic human need and not just for children. It's a wonderful way to slow down and distress, but it can be so much more than that in its purest form, play is a profound way to engage with the world, to stretch your mind and body and soul. Way to find other people and find yourself. When you do something with a playful spirit for the sheer joy of it, you forget the clock. And remember who you are, which is why your next exercise should feel more like recess than homework. Sit quietly for ten minutes and spool back through your personal play archive in your head. Which activities left you feeling recharged and fulfilled? Which one made you feel most in touch with yourself? Maybe it's yoga or Scrabble or building train sets, or maybe it's a competitive sport like tennis, volleyball, or football. My favorite is hockey. But I also make time for slower, gentler forms of play, like doing puzzles. It's amazing the combing effect puzzles have on people. You spread out 1000 pieces on the kitchen table and instantly becomes a, an oasis of Zen. I forget the clock and sit there for ages putting the puzzle together, my mind wandering here and there or chatting with whoever else happens to sit down to help and believe me, everyone will want to pitch in. What activity has that effect on you? Whatever it is. Let's now look at ways to get more of it. 45. How To Play More : I want you to pull out your calendar again. It's time to play more. If it's an organized group activity like touch football or co-ed softball that floats your boat. Then book one extra session this week. If it's something more private and flexible like THE or puzzles, then block off at least 20 minutes for it every day. For the next week. It might be in the morning before work or during an afternoon break. It could be the first thing you do when you get home from the office or the last before you hit the sack. Maybe you do some of the morning and some of the afternoon, whatever fits and feels right after the week is over, hold a meeting with yourself to figure out what difference did bumping up my playtime make? Did you feel less rushed, more grounded, more yourself? Now you need to embed playtime in the schedule. Try to rope off a block or two of time every day for some kind of play, right? That's enough about rebuilding the relationship with yourself. Now let's turn our attention to building stronger ties with other people. 46. Better Relationships: Okay, So you've started getting back in touch with yourself. Great. Now it's time to begin reconnecting with others. Let's get the ball rolling with another exercise. I want you to keep a time diary for the next week, logging how much time you devote to all the things you do. At the end of the week. Add up the hours devoted to moments that nourish your relationships. Ask yourself what made those moments possible? Where your gadgets turned off? Did you feel relaxed or rushed? How important was listening during the encounter? What did you like about those moments? What would it take to engineer more of them? Now resolved to increase that relationship building time by one hour next week, then one more hour the week after that, until you feel reconnected with the people in your life. But don't make relaxed real-world meetings. You're only contact with people. We live in a digital world and electronic connections can bring us together in lots of wonderful ways. So check in from time to time with a quick phone call or a humorous text or a Facebook comment, or even a snapchat photo. Remember that it's not enough just to put in time with people. You have to make the minutes and hours count by giving them your full attention to. And that means listening. And I mean, really listening. 47. How To Listen Better: Listening and I mean, really listening is a dying art. Often when it's our turn to listen, our mind wanders. Is that my phone? Am I running late? Or when we should be listening, we're actually reloading, getting ready to fire back with the return volley. And even when we do want to listen, It's hard to do because the world is so full of noise and distraction. I want to give you some exercises to re-learn the art of listening. The first one is silence. Set aside three minutes every day for a week to sit in silence somewhere. If you can't get absolute silence, quiet will do. This, will help reset your ears. The second exercise is a little harder. When you find yourself in a noisy environment, pick out a single sound from the cacophony. He might be the flooring of the air conditioning or a colleague tapping on a keyboard and really focus on that sound. Notice the tone and texture, how it changes and shifts the way it compares to similar sounds in your own sonic library. Do this for three minutes per day. After one week of rebooting and retraining your ears, you'll be ready to start listening properly. In your day-to-day life. 48. Slow Listening 1: Okay, So you're starting to listen again. How do you now apply that with real people? By slowing down, of course, no matter how much of a rush you're in, you can never listen faster. You have to decelerate and match the rhythm of the person speaking to you. You have to practice slow listening. Let's explore how to do that with this next exercise. Next time you were in a one-on-one conversation, make a real effort to pay attention to what the other person is saying to you. Ask lots of questions. Everyone loves to feel interesting. The answers will reveal what makes your companion tick and help cement the relationship as the conversation flows. Repeat back in your own words what the other person has said. Sometimes do this summarising out loud the word so is a very useful tool. And other times do it quietly inside your own head. When the conversation is over, look back on how it went. 49. Slow Listening 2: After your experiment with slow listening, investigate how it went for you both. Did the other person enjoy the chat? Did they feel more herd than usual? How did the conversation feel to you? Harder work are more interesting and more fun. Do you remember more of what was said hours or even days later? Make slow listening your default setting in every conversation. In fact, this is a good moment to cycle back to the workplace because listening pays handsome dividends there too. 50. How to Listen at Work: Let's return for a moment to the workplace because listening really listening is hugely important at work. To Google carried out an exhaustive internal review and found that it's most successful managers were those who took time to listen to their colleagues and learn about their lives outside the workplace. In other words, slow listening is also good for your career. And the bottom line, that doesn't mean you have to become the shoulder to cry on for every one at the office. But it does pay to invest time in work relationships. Why not get the ball rolling by organizing a social event with your colleagues? You could hold a poker or badminton evening or a snack and yacc morning where everyone brings in cookies and tells their favorite vacation gone wrong story. After you've shared a couple of events like this, look back on how it went. 51. Listening at Work: Find a moment to take stock together. How has communication in the office changed since those social events? Do you feel more relaxed together? Has there been an effect on productivity? Which social gatherings work best Could getting to know each other better make it easier to test drive slow measures such as turning off phones or leaving the office on time. It's no accident that I suggest using cookies as an icebreaker. There's nothing quite like food for bringing people together. The way to anyone's heart is through their stomach, which is why the next video explores how to build stronger relationships with food. 52. Slow Food: These days we eat badly because the virus of hurry has infected every link in the food chain. Food from high-speed, high turnover, industrial farms hardly tasted anything. Microwaving adds insult to injury. And then we eat fast food has become incidental to our lives fuel that we pour down the hatch while our attention is elsewhere. So we eat while driving, surfing, facebook, or watching Netflix. To put it bluntly, This sucks, which is why people all over the world are finding ways to slow down with food. Look at the boom and artisan beer, cheese, bread, you name it, or the rise of course, of the slow food movement. When we take more time over our food, there are all kinds of benefits. Our health improves, eating becomes a source of real pleasure. We also build stronger relationships. The word companion is derived from the Latin words for width and bread. Why? Because it is when we break bread together that we are at our closest. Your next two exercises will be to engineer Slow Food moments. 53. Eating Slow: Of all the exercises in this course, this one should be the easiest and the most fun. That's because it involves the very simple and joyful act of eating. This is how it works. I want you to pick one of your favorite foods. It could be mango, chocolate, a particular French cheese, whatever it is, cut it up into small bite-sized chunks. Now, sit down somewhere quiet and comfortable. Make sure you're alone and there are no distractions. Now look at those bite-sized chunks in front of you. Look hard at them. Notice the coloring, the texture. Is it hard and crispy or soft and yielding? Now put your notes to work. Smell your favorite food. Inhale deeply and let the aromas swirl and linger over your pilot. Notice the effect this has on you. Is your mouth watering? Is your mood brightening? What memories does this aroma evoke? Can you remember when you first eight this food? When was the best time? Now let's bring your mouth into play. So place the first chunk on your tongue. Let it sit there for a moment before biting into it. Notice it's weight. How the texture feels, the way the anticipation of eating is building exquisitely. When you can't take it anymore, start chewing slowly, deliberately. Noticing how the flavors and texture fill and evolve in your mouth. As you finally swallow, take a few seconds to bask in the sensory pleasure of the moment, and then slowly turn your attention to the next chunk. Now obviously I'm not suggesting that from now on every mouthful you take has to be an elaborate festival of slowness that would be exhausting, not to mention annoying or even creepy for other people. But at least try to bring some of that mindfulness and intensity to every fork full in the future. Right? Now that you've learned the art of slow eating, it's time to explore how food can bring us closer to other people. 54. Cooking etc: It's time to put on your chef hat. I want you to get cooking. Open up your address book and invite a few friends over for a weekend, lunch, cancel everything else that day. Go to the farmer's market to browse taste and bring home the ingredients you need to make a couple of simple dishes before anyone arrives. If you can't face cooking, pick up some ready-made stuff from the market. When the guests arrive, insist that all phones be switched off, serve up the food, sit around the table and let the conversation flow. Practice slow eating without losing your place in the conversation of a snake, and practice slow listening. Afterwards, reflect on how your SLO lunch went. 55. Your Slow Meal: Now take a moment to look back on how you're slow meal went. Did you enjoy the food more than usual? How about the conversation? Did you feel closer to everyone by the end, my guess is you did. Eating together is one of the most bonding things you can do. Or as Oscar Wilde put it, after a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations. Make a promise to yourself to spend more time cooking for and eating with the people who matter most to you. Now let's leave food to one side and widen the lens even further. Earlier in the course, we explored how to use technology more wisely in the workplace. Now it's time to focus on how taming the gadgets can strengthen our personal relationships. 56. Slower Tech: As we've already seen in the section on work, overdosing on technology makes us less intelligent and less productive. But in this section, I want to focus on technology in our non-working lives. Because here too many of us would benefit from putting some speed limits on the information superhighway. Spending too much time looking at a screen makes it harder for us to relax or sleep. It also keeps us in a constant state of distraction, unable to give our full attention to the moment or two other people. Studies show that when two people are having a conversation, it can be a parent and child, a couple to friends. If a phone is visible, just visible, doesn't have to ring or vibrate or light up. Just visible. Those two people feel less connected. This inability to give ourselves over completely to another person has tipped into the absurd. Recent survey suggests that 20% of us now interrupt the act of lovemaking to interact with our phone. Too much screen time can also make us more impatient when we turn to the real-world. Why? Because the virtual world conditions us to expect everything to happen at the flick of a switch or the swipe of a screen. And human beings just aren't designed to live or interact at that speed. So what can you do to tame the technology in your own life? Let's find out. 57. Connect Better: Let's start with an exercise. I call this one unplug and go pull out your calendar and pick an outing planned with friends or family in the next week. It might be a shopping trip or going to watch a football game, whatever. Now agree with the other person or people that you will all leave your smartphones at home, or at the very least keep them switched off and stored out of sight the whole time. When you meet up, give your full attention to what your companion is saying. Practice slow listening, and also notice the details around you. The way the light falls on a building facade, the smell wafting from a food stall. Without wondering how they would look on Instagram or sound on Twitter. 58. Unplug and Go: After your unplugging go outing, take time to hold a debriefing session. How did it feel to go screen free? Did you feel fidgety and cutoff or more able to enjoy the moment? And the company. Did you miss any world shattering updates while offline? Did you all feel closer afterwards? Now pledged to make more of your outing screen free. Start maybe with every third outing. Now, let's try another exercise. 59. Phone Stacking 1: Have you heard of stacking? It's a new trick or ritual designed to keep technology in check. It works like this. When you next go out for a meal with friends, have everyone pilot their phones in the middle of the table. And whoever caves in first and grabs their phone to check Facebook or Snapchat or whatever, pays the bill for everyone. It's a simple way to say, here we are together. We will never have this moment again. Let's give everything we have to this gathering instead of fiddling with our phones. So Gibbs stacking a try at your next meal out. 60. Phone stacking 2: After you're stacking meal out, take a moment to reflect. Did being offline field like a sacrifice where you all more connected and engaged. Stacking works well when you're out on the town, but I don't think you should use it at home. Why? Because you should make it a rule never to have phones out at mealtimes. Now let's take a look at what else you can do at home. 61. Gadget Control 1: Sometimes it seems like technology has completely colonized the home. Everyone's on their own screen and we're texting and emailing from room to room. The way to roll this back is to set clear boundaries. And that's what this next exercise is about. I want you to create a vessel for your gadgets. You could target up a discarded shoebox or an old basket from the garden shed, whatever you choose, place it near the front door. For three days. Everyone who enters the home must drop their handheld devices into the box and leave them there. Gadgets. And that includes desktops and laptops, can only be used during two one-hour blocks, agreed in advance. The rest of the time your home is unplugged and screen free. 62. Gadget Control 2: Take a moment to think and ask yourself and anyone else living with you what it felt like to disconnect? How did the atmosphere in the home change? What did you miss? Did you feel like you were missing out on something important? Did anything get better? What did you like about the new regime where you're more relaxed? Did you feel more connected to the people in the home? Figure out what the right amount of screen time is for you and make the gadget box a permanent fixture in your home. Now let's look at another way to slow down the technology in your private life. 63. Taming Tech 1: Technology is so alluring that it's hard to give up. To overcome the addiction, you need to take a carrot and stick approach. Imposing screen blackouts is only half the equation. The other half is rewarding yourself with offline treats. Let's do an experiment. Use an app like checking to track the time you spend on social media over a week. Pinpoint three slots when you're usually on for an hour, but could just as easily switch off that social media binge on Sunday morning, perhaps next week, unplugged completely during those slots, and reward yourself with the same amount of time in face-to-face meetings with a friend or loved one, sharing a coffee, going for a walk, playing cards, or indulging or offline hobby like cycling or doing crosswords or Sudoku or book in some slow playtime. At the end of the second week, take a moment to look back on how things went. 64. Taming Tech 2: After the two weeks of ramping up the offline time. Take a moment to ask yourself, did I miss being online? Would it have been harder to switch off without an offline reward to plug the hole. What did I like about the real-world moments? Use your phone to make a short film of yourself explaining how the world did not end when you turned off Facebook and how you actually enjoyed your time offline. Refer to this video whenever you find yourself in that space we've all been in, where you're starting to feel tired and bored by social media, but somehow keep on clicking anyway. Okay, now it's time for some general tips on how to rein in the technology in your private life. 65. Taming Tech 3: Here are some tips, hacks and ground rules for taming the technology in your private life. Number one, never check your messages in the middle of the night. Just don't ever number to keep gadgets away from the table during meals unless you're stacking in a restaurant. Number three, set aside one room or part of the home that is permanently screened free, ideally the bedroom, but whatever works for you. Number four, makes certain shared car trips screen free. Number five, whenever you're chatting face-to-face with someone, put your phone out of sight in a pocket or bag. Remember how that simple adjustment can bring you closer together. 66. CONCLUSION: You made it. Here you are at the end of the course, although it's actually not the end at all. It's really the start. It's the start of your SLO revolution. A revolution to help you become the best version of yourself. This will take time, it won't happen overnight. One of the ironies of today is that we're all in such a hurry that we even want to slow down fast, but that won't work. Slowing down is a process or a journey. It takes time. Slowing down can be well slow. And maybe the journey never ends. In a world built for speed, the pressure will always be on to go faster than you should. And that means you always have to be on guard. You have to work at slowing down and living your life at the right speed for you. That's why I've helped you build up what I think of as your SLO toolbox. It contains the exercises and tools we've done to help you slow down. It also contains all those notes to self and short videos we made along the way. Dip into your toolbox when you need to use the tools there to remind yourself why slowing down works and how to do it. Use it as a corrective when you feel yourself getting too fast again. But also use it when things are going well to fortify your commitment to slowing down. Maybe the most important lever in your toolbox is the questionnaire. Remember those five key questions for charting your progress. The questionnaire is your benchmark. It's the yardstick that will keep you on the right track heading towards your north star. How often you refer to it will vary. I recommend every week, at least in the early days, pull it out and answer the five questions each time. Notice how your scores are evolving. If they're trending down, ramp up your SLO efforts. If they're rising, give yourself a pat on the back and keep doing what you're doing. Before ending, I want to leave you with some final thoughts. Turn now to the last video. 67. FINAL THOUGHTS: I want to leave you with three final thoughts. Number one, slow is good. It may seem redundant to say so at the end of a course like this, but it needs saying over and over. Why? Because the taboo against slowness runs so deep in our culture. Slow is a dirty word, four-letter word synonymous with lazy, boring, unproductive, stupid. That's why I named this course how to be slow in a good way. The aim of the title is to smash that taboo and remind us that slow can be a force for good. So always remember and remind yourself, slow is good. Number two, you are not alone. Everyone wants to slow down and everyone struggles with it. It is never too late to slow down. So do not lose heart and don't try to do it all by yourself. There is strengthened numbers. Reach out to the people around you so that you can slow down together. Number three, keep in touch though this is the end of the course. I hope it won't be the end of the road for us. Contact me on here or through my website. Tell me how it's going, what's working, what's not working? What would you like me to add? This will help me improve the course in the future. But I also want to create a community where all of you who have done the course can share ideas, insights, and inspiration. Together. We can defeat the virus of hurry. Together we can become better people living better lives in a better world. We just have to give slow a chance. So goodbye for now, and good luck.