Slow Down

Do you find yourself being a little bit busy this time of year? This is the time of year for being busy. It could be worse because you could be like me. I’m still waiting for the Fourth of July and the fireworks to show up. I vaguely remember Labor Day because that’s when the balloons flew over my house. I live close to a park where they hold the balloon festival.

I find I’m not alone in the feeling that time is flowing too fast. Many others tell me the same thing. I believe that this is either an alien conspiracy, or I’m doing so much that I’m not able to pay attention to any single thing. I am not sure which. Although, I have never met ET.

When the artists of Europe dealt with cubism in the late 19th and early 20th century, they were sort of having the same problems and concerns. They felt that in their new mechanical age things were moving so fast that you could not get the full picture of any one scene. All that someone could see would be a slice of a view as they whisked by it.

I’m retired, and I have this problem. I can just imagine what someone with kids still at home, working a job, and trying to manage everything is facing right now. I can only do one thing for you, and it sounds crazy, it did to me the first time I was told to do it, and I can tell you it does work.

The trick to being on top of things is not to speed up. The real method is to slow down. Rather than pushing to meet an ever-demanding agenda, make your schedule work for you.

You know how much time you have, and what you can accomplish. You also understand if you speed up and only do a mediocre job or come in late with the project, you’re going to be in trouble anyway. So just take on what you can do and do it the best you can. If it is essential for you to do and you don’t have the time, ask for an extension up front. If it is something that will take you from other vital tasks, politely decline the request.

Your supervisors will respect you for your actions. Remember, if pushed, you can always go to your supervisors, show them your schedule and ask for their assistance in what priority should be assigned to which project. It shows that you’re willing to work with management and be sure that your tasks have the time needed to be done correctly.

Of course, this is just an opinion from the mean old Master Sergeant.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again soon.

Slow Down

For a time, when I served in the Air Force, I worked for great Chief Master Sergeant. He worked very hard both completing a mission of vital importance, and training those who worked for him to be better workers, and better leaders.

The Chief always said one thing I never understood at the time. When people would miss a deadline, including myself, he would tell us we had to slow down. At that time, I did not understand the concept of slowing down. If I was missing deadlines, I felt I needed to speed up. It took me years to appreciate his wisdom in the statement of slowing down. And, today I know it.

The idea of slowing down is not one of ignoring what needs to be done. Slowing down means taking the time to do things right. To slow down correctly, you need to know the importance of each task you take on. And, allocate the proper time to those things that are important and must be done within a set timetable.

 Will some things still not get done? Probably. Yet, knowing that gives us choices to make. The first choice, is this something I should do or is it better delegated to someone else? Is this time sensitive? If so, have I been given enough time to complete it. If not, have I asked for more time?

I understand now that slowing down doesn’t mean doing less. Instead, it’s doing the things that must be done, wisely. And, always ensuring you have the time and resources to complete any task you undertake.

Thank you for being with me today. Hope you’re here again tomorrow.