Your best ideas, those eureka moments that turn the world upside down, seldom come when you're juggling emails, rushing to meet the 5 P.M. deadline or straining to make your voice heard in a high-stress meeting. They come when you're walking the dog, soaking in the bath or swinging in a hammock.
Slow travel now rivals the fly-to-Barcelona-for-lunch culture. Advocates savour the journey, travelling by train or boat or bicycle, or even on foot, rather than crammed into an airplane. They take time to plug into the local culture instead of racing through a list of tourist traps.
The spark for 'In Praise of Slowness' came when I began reading to my children. Every parent knows that kids like their bedtime stories read at a gentle, meandering pace. But I used to be too fast to slow down with the Brothers Grimm. I would zoom through the classic fairy tales, skipping lines, paragraphs, whole pages.
The slow philosophy is not about doing everything in tortoise mode. It's less about the speed and more about investing the right amount of time and attention in the problem so you solve it.
We live in a culture that's been hijacked by the management consultant ethos. We want everything boiled down to a Power Point slide. We want metrics and 'show me the numbers.' That runs counter to the immensely complex nature of so many social, economic and political problems. You cannot devise an algorithm to fix them.
Sometimes it takes a wake-up call, doesn't it, to alert us to the fact that we're hurrying through our lives instead of actually living them; that we're living the fast life instead of the good life. And I think, for many people, that wake-up call takes the form of an illness.
Turn the preparing of food into a communal affair by enlisting others to help with the chopping, grating, stirring, simmering, tasting and seasoning. When the cooking is finished, eat together round the table with the electronic gadgets switched off so you can savor the food and let the conversation flow.
In our fast-forward culture, we have lost the art of eating well. Food is often little more than fuel to pour down the hatch while doing other stuff - surfing the Web, driving, walking along the street. Dining al desko is now the norm in many workplaces. All of this speed takes a toll. Obesity, eating disorders and poor nutrition are rife.
To help staff recharge and think better, companies are setting aside quiet places to relax, practise yoga or even take a nap. With hi-tech giants such as Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft underlining the pitfalls of being 'always on,' firms are imposing speed limits on the information superhighway.
Research has shown that time pressure leads to tunnel vision and that people think more creatively when they are calm, unhurried and free from stress and distractions. We all know this from experience.