Slow Down.

Shlesha Van
3 min readAug 3, 2021

Taking a moment to pause and reconnect.

Have you ever had that moment when you type in your WIFI password at the corner of your screen and you click connect. Connecting…connecting..It has been 5 seconds but it feels like 2 weeks and you are still waiting. It is such a little moment, and yet, we have all experienced it to some level or the other. The impatience, the need to go fast and the need to get things done now now now. It almost disconnects us from reality.

Slowing down is often perceived as a form of self care. A topic for your Sunday routine and not necessarily for a high functioning office environment. In a professional context, conversations often center around building productivity, improving efficiency, and moving faster. But what if, slowing down actually improved efficiency, impacted leadership, and redesigned corporate cultures? Then it becomes a topic much more than self care. It becomes an act we need to practice at all levels of life.

I have always had a fear of slowing down. To me, it always meant somehow taking the risk to become lazy. However, over the last few weeks of reflection, I have come to realize that slowing down is much more of a skill than it is about being lazy. It takes time, intention, patience, and organization to be able to incorporate it into our everyday routines. Much different from the voluntary act of laziness.

So circling back, how does slowing down impact us professionally, beyond selfcare?

Leadership

Scientifically, slowing down has shown cognitive benefits that allow us to be present through mindfulness and improve focus.

Eknath Easwaran puts it: “By slowing down, we can train the mind to focus completely in the present. Then we will find that we can function well whatever the difficulties.”

Thus, as we improve our attention towards the present, we are able to listen more effectively and connect to people more with empathy. With this, we make people feel heard and connected which directly shapes us towards becoming micro-service leaders in our society/companies and re-direct with positive cultural and community values.

Apart from health benefits that include reducing stress levels and blood pressure, slowing down actually has cognitive benefits that actually directly impact our decision making ability.

Productivity

Now, speaking of mindfulness, it comes naturally that as we become more mindful, we become more reflective and self aware of our actions. This means, instead of feeling overwhelmed with a 100 tasks a day, we are able to build priorities and commitments that we deeply value intrinsically and become more organized.

Thus, point 1, improved productivity to what really matters (oh, and also reduced stressed)

Organizational Shifts, corporate cultures and happiness…

This circles back to the original idea where instead of rushing towards deadlines in an ideal corporate culture, by slowing down, we are constantly practicing self-awareness, constantly re-defining priorities and thus, allowing us to actively pinpoint characteristics towards organizational shifts or even self growth.

So keeping this short and simple, I am hoping I brought a new perspective into a little cliché topic. Further, I hope that as we take a moment to slow down, we also appreciate those little pauses in our lives while our WIFI is still connecting.

Thank you all for taking the time to read.

As always, a big shout out to William for hosting this fellowship! Of course, and the other Cansbridge Fellows who make this a community beyond a network!

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