Take it slow

blogentry_michaelI got the rare chance to go bowling today as KristaRose decided to take me today. I don’t get many chances because I’m simply really busy most of the time. It’s always refreshing to go bowling though because it’s something I’m passionate about. I know that for some people, it’s hard to grasp but for me bowling has been kind of an art form. You really have to have dedication and discipline in order to do well. There are many different ways you can throw the ball but there is probably only a couple of ways that will suit your style and your strengths. Once you know how to throw the ball, then it becomes critical that you can throw it the same way over and over again. It’s the same concept in basketball or football. You have to practice that jump shot so that your arms and your legs automatically know how to shoot even with someone in your face. For football, you have to practice exactly how to throw the football so that it has the precise speed or you have to know how to run your route and how to adjust.

For today’s session, I was able to start off really strong with a 207. That’s fairly high for me especially since I haven’t really bowled in awhile. Actually, I think the last time I might have gone bowling was during my bachelor party. Anyway, during that game I started off ok but I quickly realized that I was bowling too fast. If you’ve bowled for a good portion of your life, you will instantly recognize when you’re a little too energetic. When I bowl too fast and with too much power I end up not curving the ball as much because I force it down the lane. About midway through the game, I adjusted and what was the result? I got a turkey (which for those who don’t know that means three strikes in a row).

After that, I started thinking about how this really could be applied to the real world. How many times have we gone through situations and sped through them as quickly as possible because we wanted them to just be over with? How many times have we been at work and wanted the clock to speed up so we can get back home? How many times have we waited impatiently at a red light and just want to blast right through it?

I know that I’m guilty of many of these situations. We live in a world that demands us to manage our time very carefully. We have to spend a lot of time devoted to work. We have to spend time for the family and kids. We have to spend time for friends and those around us. We think that going fast allows us to do so much more. Maybe we’re going about this the wrong way.

Take me for example. I tend to forget a lot of things. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy. Maybe it’s because I’m just me. But whatever the case, I tend to forget instructions unless I write them down or there’s not too many steps involved. I really have to focus sometimes just to get things right. I’ve always thought that it’s a combination of these problems that leads me to forget. However, what if it’s because I don’t take my time and really absorb what’s going on around me? What if my memory improves if I take things slower?

I’ve started trying this with things that Krista has told me to do. We use this app called Wunderlist, which by the way is a great free app that allows you to create lots of to-do lists. In this app, Krista can outline things for me to pick up from the grocery store or chores to do around the house. Many times though, I’m so pressed for time and I think that I have so much to do like dishes and laundry that I actually forget that I have this app on my phone. Because of this, I end up not doing everything on the list and I have to spend more time accomplishing those goals.

I’ve found that if I take things slower and do everything one by one on my lists, things get finished and I don’t have to redo the task. Sure it might overall take a little longer but the time saved in not redoing tasks more than makes up for it.

I think that going forward this is the method I’m really going to follow. Whether I use lists on Wunderlist or a list on my whiteboard in the office, I can spend some time each morning just going through all the tasks that I have and making sure I prioritize what I need to get done. I find that I just get a lot more done and it keeps me motivated to keep going through my tasks.

So what can you do today to take things slower? Think about everything you need to do and approach things one by one instead of all at the same time. Once you learn to take things slower, then you’ll really be living in the moment as well!

The Lermz

Michael Lerma graduated the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with an Information Technology Management degree. He is currently a senior Project Manager with the Nielsen Company.

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