Slowing down to speed up

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Peter Koijen and Ligia Koijen Ramos from in2motivation, an Amsterdam-based personal and professional development company, explain how slowing down can help you speed up again.

“How are you?” “Busy!” This seems to be the most common answer to this question nowadays. And it's true. People are busier than ever. But it seems to be an excuse for everything, and an answer that can no longer be given with creativity or positivity.

People need to slow down. Slowing down to speed up. What does that mean?! Well, that depends on the context.

Slowing down at work

You could slow down at work in three ways:


Make sure you sleep enough, meditate, or take coffee breaks or moments of reflection. But most of all, check your breathing - because breathing calms down the mind and body.


Make sure you are not thinking too much in a circle, or about problems or negative things, and make space for positive ones; things you have achieved already.

Focus on the people around you

Focus on human things rather than non-human things. Focusing on humans means that you take the time to appreciate the work of others. It also means spending quality time with colleagues to get to know them better.

It means starting a meeting asking people how they feel, how their evening was, and how their emotional state is before you dive into the agenda.

Paying attention to the human aspect means that you help create success stories at your meetings, or that you bring positivity to your workplace or break negative circles or energy.

Fuel, repair and maintenance

A car cannot drive 200 kilometres per hour, 365 days per year, 52 weeks, 24 hours per day continuously. It needs fuel, repair and maintenance. As do humans. When we give ourselves fuel, and repair and maintain ourselves, on a regular basis, we can function and speed up again.

Speeding up again

Speeding up will be here to stay. You are not unique in being busy. You are not unique in working in a company that communicates too much via email and has lost all track of human contact and focus.

You are not unique in trying to fix problems and achieve challenges in the most effective way to compete with other companies. That is something that with the current technological improvements seems to be a given.

The trick is to pay attention to, spend time with and focus enough on yourself to stay energised every day. 

Lots of people are concerned about the energy sources in the world. And rightly so! We need to take care of all of our energy sources to preserve the world. Let's start with ourselves.

Slowing down in your private life

So, what does slowing down to speed up mean in your private life?


Take care of your body. Sleep enough and play a sport. Do active things and do passive things.


Take care of your mind. Ensure you have sufficient positive stimuli, such as appreciation for yourself and others. Take care of both your self-esteem as well as your self-confidence.

Take care of who you are and what you do by reflecting, standing still and putting your life into a larger frame. Take a step back and realise how you have grown in all the years you have been on this planet.

Focus on yourself

Put your focus on yourself: on just being instead of doing. We know this ourselves. Running a company and taking care of a family with three kids takes lots of doing and organising.

This makes slowing down to speed up all the more important. The more things seem to speed up, the more moments you need as a human being to slow down.

The more you slow down, the more you can speed up again, ergo, slowing down to speed up!


Co-authors Peter Koijen and Ligia Koijen Ramos are life coaches and motivational speakers at in2motivation, offering personal and professional training courses to optimise individual and group motivation and performance.



Peter Koijen


Peter Koijen

owner of in2motivation

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