You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “Work expands to fill the time allowed”
Well, what if that could be seen as positive?
Instead of “I want you to paint this wall – it should only take two hours – ready – go”
Try: “I want you to paint this wall – take as long as you need and make it as good as you can”
Now the focus is on quality not quantity. Slowing down allows greater preparation time, observation time and sourcing of materials like paint that will cover the wall in less than ten coats! Attention to detail, pride in the work. The focus becomes the wall not your watch.
What was that? “Time is money!”
I appreciate slowing down could have some adverse implications on trade – I just feel they are positive ones. Someone once said to me “If you don’t do it right first time, you’ll have to do it again” True.
I’m not having a go at painters – it’s just an example. In fact, there could be a market for “Quick Décor” in and out, fast makeovers, yet that is not what this post is about.
Put simply, I think we can all benefit from slowing down.
Can you imagine Michelangelo rushing the Sistine Chapel Ceiling?
Can you imagine him on a mobile phone up a scaffold tower mid-stroke?
Can you imagine him saying “That’ll do; I’m off now – I’ve another job round the corner – bye”
Can you imagine Michelangelo cutting corners?
Do you think rushing got him timeless genius status?
If you glance through an Encyclopaedia thousands of other examples exist all around us. Slowing down doesn’t just apply to lifetime or monumental achievements. When you think of something relatively simple like plating up a meal, often the difference between brilliant and shoddy presentation can be a few extra seconds of care.
Perhaps you might try an experiment; on the very next thing you do after reading this Blog Post, try slowing down and see what a difference it makes to the activity.