Ever felt that the speed and intensity at which you’re attacking every week could actually be harmful, unproductive or just down right wrong?

You’re not alone. Like belching smokestacks and mowing down native forests, there are some things any thinking human knows are wrong. Problem is, we often wait too long to do something about it.

If you think the pace of modern life is unnecessarily intense and the volume of information streaming at you from every angle passed 11 a long time ago, then step off the juggernaut. Join the growing number of Australians who are learning how to live a life in balance and still get things done.

Your guide on this journey to satisfaction and reward is Jacqui Mott. Award-winning photographer, picture editor and journalist, she is Australia’s leading advocate of the Slow Movement (a whole lot more than slow food, it’s a philosophy). The founder and editor of Slow Magazine, Jacqui provides advice and tips on how to live a slower lifestyle.

She is  The Slow Coach.

Jacqui has enjoyed a 30-year career as a feature writer, picture editor, photo and film researcher, managing director and independent publisher. Her resume features work and productions published in the New York Times, London’s Sunday Telegraph and Rolling Stone.

In 1982 she began working as Managing Director of The Image Bank, Australia and New Zealand. The Image Bank, a world leader in stock images was the first organisation to bring the concept of stock photography to Australia in the age before internet. In 1987 Jacqui formed her own photo and film research company Photo Search, which operated nationally for 10 years, managing assignments for national and international clients. In 1997 The Image Bank was sold to Gates and Getty, now known as Getty Images.

During this time Jacqui also freelanced for prominent media outlets including the New York Times and Rolling Stone New York, working as a producer on photo shoots with bands like Nirvana.

During the 1980s Jacqui spent time in Sydney working for publishing guru Kevin Weldon as photo editor on large book projects. One, a ‘Day in the Life of Australia’, which enlisted 100 photographers from around the world to shoot a day in Australia.

In the 1990 Jacqui began craving a slower paced lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, so with her family in toe she relocated to central Victoria. It was this change that sparked Jacqui’s embrace of the Slow Movement and initiated the beginning of Slow Magazine.

First published in 2009, Slow Magazine is targeted at people who have swapped the hectic city life for a slower tree-change, sea-change or for those that think life’s just too fast. Featuring content on art, fashion, food, wine, travel and gardening, the magazine is one of the first to bring the global ‘slow movement’ to Australia. With national circulation the magazine has a growing readership of 15,000 people, engaging subscribers around Australia and overseas.

With a following that stretches across the globe, Jacqui travels the nation advocating the slow message to Australians and providing slow advice and daily tips to her loyal Twitter followers.

> > Visit The Slow Coach Twitter page.

Here are a few tips to get you thinking.

1/ Don’t Multi-task, because it’s a flawed skill and there’s been plenty of scientific research to prove it. Sure, multi-tasking is going to slow you down, but it will increase the chances of mistakes. And by distracting yourself with more than one task, you’re less likely to do any of them well – you’ll feel time-pressured and more frantic than if you clearly chose to work through tasks one at a time.

2/ Less is truly more when it comes to productivity in the workplace. If we’re pushed to work in ways that isn’t sustainable we may be productive in the short term, but dashed in the long term. As every great athlete understands, the highest performance occurs when we balance work and effort with rest and renewal. So the motto is slow, don’t slack.

3/ Take a break and feel good about it. How many times have you had your best ideas or flashes of insight while driving, on a walk, or in the shower? For many of us, those times are when they get their best thinking done. That’s because if we allow our minds to go with the slow, we enjoy the freedom to wander, and that’s when our creativity kicks in. So make sure to stay rested and allow yourself unscheduled time to just ‘be’.

4/ Live mindfully. Re-learn how to connect with your family. Living a mindful life is challenging in a culture hooked on speed. Now it’s all about fast food, fast cars, speed dating, and fast holidays. We may be living great lives but we aren’t always ‘there’ for family. If we push back the trend, we can take the time to linger over food, with friends, with our family.

5/ Laugh more. Let’s face it, going Slow has a humorous edge to it. Why not put your feet up, and remember a few great jokes. It will do wonders for your stress levels.

Join The Slow Coach and ride life at the pace you know is right.

image credit : Tyler