Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Unbalance of Slow

I am typically efficient with my time and a very productive worker. But, I have found that the more efficiently I work, the more I want to get done and the harder for me to slow down.

It's like a frenzy that feeds itself and generates a vicious cycle. It goes something like this: I may be feeling overwhelmed and want to get more organized and on a better routine. I will plan out my day and get up early and get going. Crossing things off my list feels great and I have a productive day hoping days like this will never end. I think of how much I can get done if I can maintain this level of speed and efficiency, but let's face it - I do not allow room for slowing on my "list."

I may have a few good days like that and pretty soon I'm getting tired sooner than I used to. I'm starting to get discouraged and get less done and it isn't long before half of my list may still be staring at me before the end of the day. After that, I give up the list and just start letting the days flow the way they will.

This is more relaxing, but I find that I get less done beginning to feel overwhelmed and so the cycle has come full circle and starts all over again.

On the other side, I've found that if I slow down too much - it feeds this desire to slow down too much. You know how that works, right? My kids are playing great and I'm on the couch reading a book for example, I realize we should get on to the next chore or piece of business to keep our day flowing smoothly. This is a tricky spot to be caught because on one hand I will think there is no way I'm messing with it while they are happily engaged playing with one another so I might just read some more on my book.

Frequently when I do that though, I find that those extra minutes can be when the sweet spot we were in goes sour. An argument will break out among the young ranks of my home or they will just get tired of getting along. If I had intervened before things got to this point, it would've served me well - but slowing was calling also.

This is proof positive that slow is a balance. We can neither ignore slow completely nor give in to it completely. Like so much of life isn't it?!

Here is a real list I wrote for myself {and I am not encouraging this!} one day recently and I did get every single thing done - but to what end? I was probably a drill sargent marching out orders to all of my little soldiers and I can pretty well guarantee that I did not spend much quality time with them.

So, how can I reconcile productivity with slowing? This is a question I have savored and thought about a lot - and will probably continue to process and wrangle with. 

God brought to mind a passage of Scripture right away that I studied for some perspective - I'll share that tomorrow.

** Burlap bird: I can't believe I haven't taken a photo of this yet! My littles picked this out on their own for me for Christmas. Love.Love.Love.