Life's Not Always Better in the Fast Lane


fast lane

 Life's Not Always Better in the Fast Lane


 Slow down. Work zone ahead. Heavy fines for violators.


How many times have you seen that sign on our local streets given the constant building and rebuilding of our transportation infrastructure? We ought to put signs up like that right outside our office doors.


Problem is, most business people don’t know how to slow down.


It’s all about speed in this 24/7 world we live in, as we fill up our toolboxes with technology that never sleeps. It’s vital that we’re quicker than our competition. We set goals that always outpace whatever we did the year before. Grow or die.


Everyone complains that they would like to slowdown to review, contemplate and strategize, but they don’t know how. We’re overextended. Not enough time in the day. Stressed out. No time for thinking. No time to reflect. Overworked.


This isn’t going to change. It’s only going to spin faster.


We are living in a world that no longer can tolerate slowdowns, be it spending more than five minutes on hold or waiting 15 minutes in a grocery line. Intolerable! We live in an era of instant gratification, as in we want it all and we want it now. Time is money. Don’t waste it.


I recently spent a morning with a small group of CEOs sharing challenges and advice. We talked about coping with the demands of maintaining a fast pace without losing control of business and personal affairs. We came up with a few ideas:


--Spend a morning with a small group of CEOs sharing challenges and advice! This in itself is a slow-down exercise, and it works. There are formal groups like this all over the Valley. Find one, or start your own, and then don’t let your busy business schedule let you skip a session.


--Take a day out of the office once a month to think and strategize. This should be a non-starter if you are in a leadership position. Put on your visionary glasses. Where’s your business going in the next year or five? And where are you going in the years ahead personally?


--Use all your vacation time. I’m not even going to suggest leaving your phone at home. You won’t. So go to the beach or up to the mountains anyway and maybe spend a few extra days there. The change of scenery, if nothing else, will do you good.


--Follow the speed limit. Sounds amazingly simple, but try it. Leave for each appointment a few minutes early. Drive calmly. Arrive relaxed. If you think about all the time you spend in your car, then you might see how this could make a difference.


Slow down. Work zone ahead. You’ll feel better and be more effective if you do.