I try not to be in a hurry

OR, why waiting in line a few extra minutes every day won’t kill you.

I was at the dentist’s office recently and as I was settling up I asked for an extra document.

“Sure!” The receptionist said brightly, and then grimaced in apology, “It’ll take a moment though; our printer is being really slow for some reason.”

She actually seemed kind of distressed and tried to rush for me.

“It’s OK.” I said, “Don’t worry about it.”

“Well, I know you’re in a hurry.”

“No. I try not to be in a hurry.”

Everyone in the office turned and looked at me strangely and then went back to what they were doing.

“Well, most people are in a hurry.” She chuckled.

“Not really. Most of that is manufactured. Most people are in a hurry because they feel like they should be, not because it helps.”

One of the other office personnel almost fell out of her chair because she spun around so fast to agree. We all laughed about it and went on with our day.

Here’s the thing; being in line for an extra few minutes or waiting on a printer isn’t going to make that much difference in your day. More importantly, you actually slow things down by getting upset or trying to rush things that can’t be rushed.

“BUT THOSE MINUTES ADD UP!” you cry out!

Sure. I’ll get to that. But let’s not rush. 🙂

The worst is driving. For a variety of reasons, I choose to go to this particular dentist who is about a 35-40 minute drive away without traffic. So far, it’s totally been worth it.

Some days I have driven like a crazy man, most days I drive at the best reasonable speed I can. On average, driving like a crazy man will complete that trip for me about 0-3 minutes quicker, and raise my blood pressure and that of the drivers around me by twice as many points.

Also, standing in line at the grocery store doesn’t go faster if you get upset. As a matter of fact, it might go slower because the people in front of you or the cashier might get flustered and make mistakes. And have you ever gotten home in a rush because you were hurrying to recycle that coffee you’d been drinking on the road and couldn’t wait to get inside? You finally get to your front door and you’re fumbling with your keys, phone, and assorted “useful things” and finally get the right key and you stab Stab STAB it at the lock until it finally goes in and then you jiggle the handle so that you can burst through the door and run for the relief you so crave?

businessman-hurryDid hurrying speed that process up, or slow it down?



Sometimes you need to slow down in order to go faster.

“BUT I’M IN A HURRY!” you cry, and reiterate, “THOSE MINUTES DO ADD UP!”

Both true statements.

Lately I’ve been busy at work and having to be at the dentist is making me busier, but it’s necessary.

The truth is putting effort into “being in a hurry” isn’t helping, and those minutes that add up aren’t really that important.

If we take all of those minutes we “lost”- when we had to wait on people in line who can’t find their wallet at the grocery store, on slow credit card machines and printers, or getting stuck behind a truck for a few minutes on the road- if we take all those minutes and add them up, we might have lost 20-30 minutes out of our day.

It’s not that important. You know how I know? How long did you spend on Facebook today? Or watching TV you weren’t really interested in? Or even just sitting with your head in your hands wishing that headache would go away?

“Well yeah, but that’s my relaxation time! I’ve had a stressful day and I need that time to relax!”

Sure. Taking time in your day to relax is great. But think about that stressful day you had. Is there any possibility it could have been less stressful if you would have relaxed while it was happening, instead of getting upset and then needing recovery time later?

Un-tense your brain in day-to-day situations and it works more efficiently, leaving more mental energy for the free parts of your day so that you can really enjoy them.

Monks in line
The guys are in a long line but they aren’t letting it get them down!
Photo credit: Wonderlane on Flickr