Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Time Management Tuesday: Could I Do More, If I Slowed Down?

 As a I said a while back, the monkey that had control of my mind this summer has been resting. She's sitting in a corner watching me while she builds up her strength. I've got to be prepared. I can't stay on task when she's on top of her game. I got started on a modest meditation program while I was on vacation, the classic method for putting monkeys in their place. But I've been thinking about trying to slow down, too. Feeling rushed and overwhelmed is unpleasant, and I don't know that hurrying does any good as far as getting work done is concerned.

Could Slowing Down Help Me To Do More?

I began to think about this one morning last month while eating breakfast in a motel. You know, one of those places where you make your own toast, but it's free. I realized I was really enjoying those breakfasts. Why? Because all I was doing while I was eating was eat. ("If you're going to eat, eat," I've read in some Zenny book. Probably more than once.). I was sitting down while I did it, too. That's an important point, because for a long time now I've eaten breakfast standing up in the kitchen, so I could empty the dishwasher and take care of dishes in the sink while I wolfed down my oatmeal.

The monkey liked that, I'm sure.

Then on the last day of vacation, we ate lunch at a Subway. One poor woman was working by herself. She was doing a pretty good job of keeping up with the lunchtime crowd. My companion and I had a theory about why. She didn't rush. She didn't lose time making the kinds of mistakes rushing causes. She wasn't slow, either. She just worked at a consistent, methodical speed.

Monkeys don't like that kind of thing.

But What Does Slowing Down Mean?

Slowing down, working calmly, sound like good ideas. But doesn't working slower mean we are going to have to do less? The workload hasn't changed. The time available hasn't changed. All that's changed is how quickly we're going through that workload during that available time. Common sense says that if we go slower, we have to get through less of that workload.

A life example: If I sit down for breakfast instead of eating while I empty the dishwasher, the dishwasher still needs to be emptied. (Yeah, I know there are people who live out of their dishwashers. I am not one of them. Not judging.) How and when is that going to get done?

A work example: I've been rushing around this past year checking out markets for my short work and making submissions. I could definitely slow my work life down by cutting back on that. But writers don't get published if they don't submit, right? (Honestly, we often don't get published when we do submit.)

Are We Talking Philosophy Rather Than Strategy?

Working slower is going to be my new research focus for the next few months. I am going to be doing it slowly. I'll be checking back.

No comments: