The 'slow' movement is a cultural revolution. It's about seeking to do everything at the right speed and "savouring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them." It's about living your life, performing tasks and creating things as well as possible, not just as fast as possible.
We'd heard of the slow food movement and the slow fashion movement. But the slow office movement was a new concept for us, introduced by one of our brands La Petite Papeterie Francaise when they shared their slow office manifesto.
Slowing down at work may seem counter-productive with the modern workplace's obsession with productivity and 'getting things done'. But by better enjoying your time at work, working cleverly and feeling inspired, a slow office focus could be just what you need to help work feel less like a chore.
Here are five ideas to help you create your own slow office.
1. Take regular breaks
It's very hard to maintain focus for hours on end. In fact, working for too long without breaks is not only bad for your health but it also means your perception is less sharp, so you end up making silly mistakes and having to spend more time re-doing your work.
Tip: Try to take a 10-15 minute break for every hour or two hours of work you put in. This will give you a chance to stretch your legs, reduce strain on your eyes, rehydrate and approach your work from a fresher perspective.
2. Go for a lunchtime walk
Most of us working at a desk job rarely get to move our bodies for a long periods of time. That's why going for a walk during your lunch break — even if it's just a walk around the block — is extremely important. It helps prevent injury to your body, flexes your joints and the fresh air is great for your mind and can help spark creativity or aid problem-solving.
Tip: Get a colleague to join you for your lunch time walk. It's a great opportunity to be more social at work.
3. Surround yourself with useful & beautiful items
Work becomes more enjoyable when you surround yourself with useful and beautiful items. It brings pleasure to the process of productivity and alters the experience of work. From enjoying the tea-making process to slowing down and appreciating the moment of sharpening a wooden pencil, these small moments make an impact on your perception of your day and work.
4. Clear clutter from your desk
Physical clutter can add stress and anxiety to your day. If you're having trouble finishing that report, it might be worth taking 10-15 minutes to clean your desk — throw out rubbish, wash those coffee mugs, or simply give your desk a good wipe down. What may feel like procrastination could actually ensure you'll be fresh, focused and ready to tackle a challenging task.
5. Take time out to feed your soul
Sometimes you need to completely switch off and do something unrelated to your work to feel fully recharged. Holidays and weekends are vital! Take time out to nourish your mind through physical activity, visiting art galleries, playing music, baking or reading a book. It will help you re-energise your mind, learn something new and change your perspective on how to approach challenges.
Tip: Start small and pick up an interesting book from your library.
Shop Slow Office on Milligram.