Slow Web

Slow web is a direct response to the demanding “fast web” culture the internet has created. The slow web movement values reflection, connection, and priorities.

As Jack Cheng put it, "Timely not real-time. Rhythm not random. Moderation not excess. Knowledge not information. These are a few of the many characteristics of the Slow Web."

The Lasting Power of Slow Gains

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You’ll never walk into the gym and hear someone say, “You should do something easy today.” But after ten years of training, I think embracing slow and easy gains is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.

In fact, this lesson applies to most things in life. It comes down to the difference between progress and achievement.

Let me explain:

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How Fast Web is Impairing How You Think

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Before you realize, habits form. How much thought do you put into your daily routine, and how much of your routine is formed as a response to outer influence? In other words, do you know why you work the way you do?

Being purposeful with your work philosophy might be the missing key to achieving a healthy rather than hasty, always running-behind pace. Understanding the psychological benefits of controlling the flow of your time and attention reveals the wisdom in taking things slow.

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3 Surprising Reasons Why You Need to Rediscover Slow Growth

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We all have goals that we’d like to reach. And, if we had the choice, we would prefer to reach them sooner rather than later.

There’s nothing wrong with achieving a goal quickly, but the insatiable desire to enjoy results now — with little regard for the process — is hurting our health, our happiness, and our lives in general.

When we continuously glorify the end result (earn more money, find love, win the Super Bowl), it becomes dangerously easy to think that the goal is what validates us and not the struggle of the process.

If you want to fulfill your potential and become better, then you need to rediscover the power of slow growth. Here’s why:

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The Work Will Always Be There

When we think about our work and what we have to do, it’s almost always about pushing. Push yourself, push harder, push through the pain. But pushing won’t get you through every door.

When you take a look at the routines and rituals of super-productive people, they often turn out not to be about pushing at all, but pulling and drawing energy back into yourself. These recharging routines are about creating “me-time” — not in some selfish, diva way, but in an effort to care for and re-center yourself, to protect at least some of your time from being dictated by others.

Me-time routines are renewable fuel, a sustainable antidote to burnout and life as a work vampire.

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The 3-Part Recipe to Stop Working Around the Clock and Beat the Rat Race

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Humans are not machines.

This is stating the obvious, but the obvious hasn’t seemed to sink in. We organize our work days as if we were machines, never turning off even when we get home.

These work habits are erroneous, unhelpful, and unhealthy.

When the Huffington Post polled 1,000 people on their work habits and routines, the results show just how far we’ve tilted the scales to a machine-like existence:

  • 60% take 20 minutes or less for lunch.
  • 25% never leave their desk.
  • 66% fail to take their allotted vacation
  • 25% leave at least a week’s worth of vacation unused each year

And to top it all off, 33 percent spend less than half an hour a day completely disconnected from email.

This isn’t a sustainable work style.

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Avoiding the Vanity Work Trap

If you’re in the business of dealing with web and social media metrics or are familiar with entrepreneur and The Lean Startup author Eric Ries, you probably know about vanity metrics. Basically, these are numbers that sound impressive but don’t necessarily mean anything of significance because they’re not actionable by themselves. In other words, vanity metrics are “good for feeling awesome, bad for action.”

Many of us fall into an analogous vanity work trap. We do things that sound impressive or important, making us feel productive but essentially don’t propel us to any new heights. Maybe it’s that umpteenth networking event or coffee meeting, or obsessing over social media followers or responding to emails during vacation, or even dutifully doing all the things we think we’re supposed to do. The vanity work trap sucks us in using other people’s ideas of success.

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Collaboration is Noisy

When did work become so noisy?

I don’t just mean the ambient noise, that clickity-clackity typing, strangely noticeable chewing, annoying finger tapping, and chit-chatting hubbub of an open floor plan office. I’m also talking about the information and social inundation invading our work life, the buzzes and pings, the tweets and likes, the emails and comments, the meetings and chats.

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Our notion of productivity has become imbalanced toward focusing on the inbox of our thought process — input, information, inspiration. I can feel productive after scanning tweets, reading articles, even having an inspiring conversation, but if I don’t take time to think and process, if I don’t actually turn the input into something, that feeling is illusory.

Ultimately, productivity requires producing, creativity creating. It sounds so simple and obvious, but it has been easy to forget these days that we need solitude, quiet and time.

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Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Software

Business software’s increasing focus on real-time collaboration, activity streams and consumerization threatens what Paul Graham called the “maker’s schedule” in the workplace. Makers need long blocks of uninterrupted time to concentrate on ambitious, creative work. The result of always-on availability, random notification, and constant information deluge is a work mode of interruption-driven multitasking that’s antithetical to a maker’s needs.

Digital connectivity empowers managers to collaborate with makers in creating, but without regard to when. Because modern collaboration tools flow so neatly within their kind of schedule, managers often don’t realize the costs to the maker. At iDoneThis, we use a bunch of awesome collaborative tools including Asana, Github, Campfire, Google Docs, Skype, and Trello, and we’ve observed how those tools can disrupt a maker’s schedule.

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What Happens When You Don’t Email?

We’ve got these social expectations that are wrapped up in email. If an email comes, you’re expected to respond to it fast. We feel compelled to reply.

Gloria Mark, LA Times, Email Stress Test: Experiment unplugs workers for 5 days

Professor Mark did a study to find out what would happen if you did away with work email. She found that people were less stressed, simply communicated face-to-face more (what, human interaction!?), were more productive, and able to focus longer.

While there are great benefits to stepping away from email, it’s hard to escape the compulsion to be chained to work email. How do we shift social expectation and work culture on the instant timing of email?