I was reading this article at JavaWorld.com, and in it the author credits a Spanish proverb with the wisdom that is the subject of this post. I'll repeat it again for effect:
Slow down, I'm in a hurry.
If that makes no sense, then neither will the rest of this post. Thank you. Have a good day.
Okay, for those of you that get this, and the beautiful, simple, genius of it, welcome to the rest of this post. How often have you worked with a colleague (usually young, but not always) who, in their sincere desire to solve a particular issue, is in a terrible rush? I've worked with a lot of people over the years, and this happens with alarming regularity. The well-meaning colleague is panicked, throwing information at you so fast that it takes ten times longer to help them than if they had just slowed down, thought through how to present their dilemma, and taken their time in solving the problem.
What is it about being panicked that causes us to think less methodically then if we were calm? Ironically, when the situation demands quick action the effect is magnified. So that when we most need to think clearly, calmly and methodically, we are the least likely to do so.
Experience teaches us how to temper this effect. I've wasted so much time attacking the problem like a rabid Jack Russel terrier, when, if I had just slowed down and gotten to the heart of (whatever the particular problem was), I would have solved it SO much more quickly.
Here's another one: "haste makes waste". I love that one too.
Experience is that knowledge you get just after you need it. Fortunately for us, history repeats itself.
Hey, don't you have work to do?