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Take your time

“Slow down to go faster.” -Chuck Norris

Another bit of insight inherited from my days as a waiter:

“No matter how busy you get”, my manager was fond of saying, “take a quick minute to review your orders before ringing them in.”

Easier said than done. Try reviewing your orders in a cool-headed manner when you have four tables, all of whom think they’re your only table, and a line of servers standing behind you saying “hurry it up” as they wait to use the computer too. Not a simple task when you and everyone around you is freaking out.

But the manager knew a pivotal truth: A small oversight will easily cost you a half hour’s worth of inconveniences, not to mention a decent tip. The only thing worse than being busy is being busy plus having to resolve petty problems because you weren’t being mindful the first time around.

“You can take one minute away from yourself or your customers will take 30 minutes away from you by sending their food back and complaining. Do the smart thing.”

Some troubles can’t be entirely avoided, but many of their effects can be mitigated if we simply take the time to get our minds into the right state before delving into our day.

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is that most of us are already used up by petty dramas before we get to the problems that demand quality attention.

Blaise Pascal wrote: “All human evil comes from a single cause, man’s inability to sit still in a room.”

Perhaps that may be a bit overstated, but I do suspect that much of what we call “trouble” is the consequence we pay for not taking the time to elevate our consciousness to a level where petty problems fail to exhaust our supply of energy.

Too busy to relax, journal, meditate, sleep, take a walk, or just plain “chill out?” Think again. Maybe your state of being too busy is not the cause, but rather the effect, of a lack of self-nourishment.

Take your time before someone or something unworthy of your time takes it for you.

T.K. Coleman

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