“A person who is always in a hurry is a person with one foot in the grave.” Moroccan Proverb
Well, in a hurry I have not been over the last 30 years. So, I will be taking a break from my blog to complete an important project by May 1st. Commitment made to family, friends and you. Please help keep me on track and enjoy this last Psyched Sunday for a few months.
Recently, while sitting in traffic on I55, I saw two cars illegally use the right shoulder to hurriedly pass other vehicles. Obviously, the two were not patient, putting themselves and others at risk. Hopefully, our own hurried times and impatience do not cause physical harm. The real question is, “how good or effective are we while waiting?”
Understandably, there are times when being in a hurry can serve a person well. However, if that becomes the norm, it puts the individual and those around at unnecessary risk. Instead, make educated decisions on when to rush and when to be patient, recognizing the potential impact you are having on yourself and others.
Living or working with a sense of urgency can be a real benefit. However, it can also create unnecessary stress and anxiety if rushed behavior becomes the status quo. As a society, are we moving too quickly for our own good? What does ASAP mean anymore if all are performing at that speed? Nothing is important when everything is deemed important. Sometimes I have clients who try to accomplish too much during a meeting. I have found that in most situations, high quality content is more valuable than quantity. Carefully pick and choose what you want to realistically get done, giving you and others the biggest bang for the buck. Clear expectations and associated performance will result in success and relationship engagement as well as increased credibility.
The fact is we all will have times in our lives when we wait. Wait in a long check-out line. Wait for a delayed flight. Wait for a child to be born. Wait up for those same children on a Saturday night. You get the picture. The less within your control a situation is, the more frustrating and anxiety producing it can be. Thomas Edison wrote, “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” The opportunity is to take control and do something productive while you are waiting. Be prepared with material to read, listen to or write. If you do not regularly plan for potential wait times, you will find much of life is a waste of time. Your choice!
Instead, choose to embrace a delay. Purposefully slowing down has proven to be beneficial for most immediate work as well as physical healing. When was the last time you went outside and just listened to the different impacts of the wind? How it travels through the different trees? The force by which it hits against the window? The variety of sounds through the chimes? Or simply embraced the cold upon your face? Appreciated the crackle and warmth of an open fire? True success is in the details. Value is in recognizing what is missed by others. This can only come with taking more time and not less in the moment. Resting and recharging is not only critical for life but performance enhancing!
Many complain to me about not having enough time. For some this is perfectly accurate. However, for most it is not about the quantity of time, but the quality of time spent. Is our time allocated according to what is most important to us? When performing a task or spending time with someone, are you present and focused at 100%? 75%? Or, lower? What is the impact? For one week. No, how about for just one day, try to do everything you do at 100%. Even if it’s only for 15-minute increments, do not try to multi-task. Lock in on a target, person or project, and give it your 100%. Don’t be in a hurry. You, as well as the people you work with, will be rewarded with greater success and satisfaction.
2020 was a year of waiting for all of us: waiting to see if the virus would come to our county/town; waiting on toilet paper deliveries; waiting to be tested; waiting for the vaccine; and now, just waiting for things to get back to “normal." Everyone had to wait for one thing or another. The question for 2021 is not whether we wait, but how … wait with greater focus and accomplishment. Keep both feet in the moment!
Enjoy the journey!
“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.” Unknown