Pops always told me, “You gotta slow down to go fast, kiddo.” 

I remember his advice now especially in my career as a journalist. Lately, I was feeling rushed to do something at the last minute that I felt unprepared to do and, as luck would have it, I turned to Zen Habits for some advice on what won’t make me more productive…

  • Get organized – Simplifying means making important choices about what’s important, rather than ignoring that question and just trying to cram everything into your day (and space) in a logical way.
  • Keep an Idea List – …the idea list is never filled with your best ideas. That’s because when you have a really great idea, you get so excited about it you jump up and want to work on it immediately.
  • Set a Lot of Goals -…let go of all the time I used to spend on goal administration (it’s more than you might think) and all my mental energy is freed to do what I want to do right now.
  • Track Everything – If you are so focused on the results, the activity becomes only a means to an end.
  • Be Productive While Your Waiting – Life isn’t only about work, and productivity isn’t everything. Try some unproductivity instead.
  • Keep Detailed Complex To-Do Lists – And the to-do lists gather dust, which turns out to be a very productive thing for them to do.
  • Word Hard in Bursts, with Frequent Breaks – Life where you work hard in bursts, with some breaks, is dreadful. Life where you’re always doing something you love is art.

“Imagine that you worked slower instead of faster, and enjoyed your work.”

Racing in the woods, Pops always told me to keep my feet up and work on my technique. He said, because putting my foot down would cause me to lose momentum, and I argued that I could go faster around the corner with my foot hanging off the pegs. He disagreed every time. ” You gotta slow down to go fast, kiddo.” I figured it out, eventually, and I was faster for it in the long run.


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