Getting Things Done author David Allen says that in order to get to a calm, productive state of mind, we have to slow down and think, instead of trying to work more, faster, and harder:
One of the most subtle ways the better aspect of us retreats is in busy-ness. Losing perspective in trying to control everything, finish it all, fix it all—all at once. Getting things done out of frustration instead of inspiration. Helping out of compulsion, not compassion.
He says that loosening your grip, quieting down, and giving into a sense of surrender is the way to get to your best productive state. While it sounds like The David's been to one too many AA meetings this year, the man's got a point, and what better time of year to treat yourself to a slowdown—you know, to speed up.