Sorry for the title. This next few paragraphs is discussing how to improve your photography by slowing down and I tried to do some kind of cheezy reference to slow food. I kinda messed that up. Sorry. Then I used "cheezy" in the same sentence as "food". That wasn't supposed to be a joke. I need some sleep.
I am a minimalist. I try to integrate that lifestyle in anything I do and that includes my photography, of course. One of the largest problems in our society today is the manic urge to do everything as quick as physical possible. Fast-food, express-delivery, airplanes being painted with sharkskin coating. Sometimes, quick is good. Sometimes however, the best way is to slow down. Here's three ways to slow down and and in that way become a greater photographer.
Do one thing at the time
Leo Baubauta, the father of modern minimalism, often agitates the importance of doing one one thing at the time and ONLY doing that particular thing. Not eating lunch AND checking your e-mail. Not talking on the phone AND reading the new issue of Vogue. Try to just eat your food. And be totally present. Even if it is just a simple plate of eggs and bacon, putting all your focus on the simple - and often habitual - task of eating you'll notice incredible new sensations. You might think that all your focus is on your photography but your status update on Instagram, the music in your earphones and the constant notifications on your smartphone will all take a bite from that focus pie. Shut everything else off. Literally if necessary.
Embrace the micro-breaks
During all of the workflow when planning, shooting and post-producing a shoot, there's opportunities for small and indispensable micro-breaks. Those breaks will give you the opportunity to think reflect on what you are doing and how you are doing it. But they really are short and if you are not attentive they'll pass you by. Think about the moment when you've taken a picture and you glance at the image on the back of your camera. Do you just confirm that something stuck on the sensor and quickly put the eye to the viewfinder? Or do you actually spend a couple of extra seconds to check the composition, exposure and feeling to know what to change for the next shot?
Allow yourself to rest
Years ago I felt bad the moment I sat down without my computer. When I didn't produce anything the fingers started to itch and I could feel the time being wasted. Now I know that i actually DO create even when I´m just sitting down. There is a time to form and there is a time to reflect. And if you don't embrace both of them, you'll end up doing nothing.