You have likely heard the common expression, “Slow down to speed up.” It seems counterintuitive, however, if you pay close attention, I am sure you will find countless examples of this playing out in your day-to-day routines. I had an experience a couple of weeks ago that embodies why sometimes going slower will save you time.
My wife, children, and I are going on a cruise this summer, and as part of the process, we needed to get our children their first passports. Since I was unable to take time off work to accompany them to the passport office, I filled out a "parental consent" form and had it notarized. After waiting at the passport office for three hours, my wife and children were turned away because, in my haste, I filled out one of the forms in blue ink. At the top of the form, it clearly states “Please Print Legibly Using Blank Ink Only”. Because I was rushing to get this done in between meetings, I didn’t take the time to read the instructions. Not only did this cause my wife and kids to waste half of their day off, but we had to go back on a different day and redo all the forms.
The lesson I learned from this experience is that it's important to slow down and give tasks the attention they require. Rushing through tasks can lead to mistakes, which can end up costing us more time in the long run. It's especially easy to fall into the trap of rushing through emails or quickly completing a document without giving it much thought, but this can lead to errors that will ultimately catch up to us.
In conclusion, it's crucial to remember that taking the time to slow down and focus on the task at hand can actually help us be more efficient in the long run. We need to resist the urge to rush through tasks in order to cross them off our to-do lists. Instead, we should take the time to read instructions carefully, ask questions, and ensure that we're doing things correctly the first time. I can assure you that if you don't, it will catch up to you and it will not be fun. As you can imagine, my wife and kids were not pleased with me when they got home. So take my advice and slow down to speed up. 😊