With people around the world getting used to a slower pace of life during the coronavirus pandemic, RSK Director Garry Charnock has been reflecting on benefits of ‘deceleration’. Writing in The Scotsman, he said: “It’s hard staying at home and avoiding people. However, it does give us precious time to think about the future and how our lives could change for the better.”
The coronavirus lockdown is not the only time that Garry, who lives on the Scottish island of Bute, has been able to take a step back from the pressures of everyday life. Last year he took part in a week-long business decelerator course, which aimed to “champion the power of innovation, encourage creativity and foster collective well-being” by providing a unique opportunity for busy business professionals to take a step back from their city-based jobs on a remote Scottish island.
“This was the first time I’d ever gone on a well-being course and I was nervous about applying as someone of pensionable age,” Garry explained. “But I was intrigued by the decelerator concept and impressed that [the course] offered five free places to locals interested in joining the 30 or so international high-flyers who had paid to come on the course.”
The week included yoga, art, chakra and improvisation sessions to help participants disconnect from the distractions of work. “The main rule was that we did not discuss our jobs or titles but simply shared our thoughts,” said Garry.
“Having such a wide range of new experiences changed me in unexpected ways. I learned new ways of analysing my business life, gained an understanding of the role art can play in my life and a fresh insight into the beautiful Bute environment.
“The friendships we developed at the Craigberoch decelerator are immensely useful during these troubled times. Everyone feels the isolation, but we keep in contact via social media and conference calls and are helping the Bute community in whatever way we are able.”
Hopefully, the coronavirus pandemic will have enabled many of us to reassess our work–life balance, focus on our health and well-being and change our lives for the better as we take the first steps out of lockdown.
You can read Garry’s full article, “Ongoing benefits of a rural business decelerator”, here.