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Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

Image of Ash Roy
Ash Roy

That's an adage used by the US Navy Seals.

It's tempting to go for that massive win and knock it out of the park. But that rarely works. Especially when you're behind.

Instead, it makes sense to go for incremental wins all of which, lead up to a bigger more positive outcome.

That's a less stressful approach.

James Clear talks about how you don't rise to the level of your goals. Rather you fall to the level of your systems.

To get a system working for you you need to go slow first and only then you can speed up.

Make haste slowly.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast,

Go slow first, establish your rhythm, then go fast ... sustainably.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. 

 Here are some tips to incorporate this into your workflow:

  • Work in 25-minute sprints followed by short breaks to check in with yourself and review your focus levels in the preceding sprint (we use a version of the Promodoro technique which incorporates a simple awareness practice within the Productive Insights membership) and these work really well for most of us.

  • Focus on systems first and really get them nailed down. Habits are great "systems" because they reduce decision fatigue while increasing effectiveness.

  • Breathe deeply and refocus when switching tasks. This is effective for 2 reasons:

    • It increases your awareness when you're task switching (which means you're more likely to catch yourself when you're getting distracted)

    • It forces you to pause between tasks and this often reorients you to your broader objective and check that you're still focused on the right thing right now. 

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