Food for Thought #8 – (Re)discover the Slowness

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Woohoo, I caught an earthworm

Do you have kids? If yes, I bet their slowness often drives you nuts. You have to go shopping, and your smallest stops every second (at least this is what it feels like for you), to have a look at some interesting things. He stops to observe interesting things like a gum on the sidewalk, or an earthworm in the front garden of a house. But shopping isn’t the only thing in your backlog, you have a lot of other things to do today. After the 5th stop of your kid, you pick him up and carry him the rest of your way to the shop.

Most of us got used to our fast life. It is speeded up by things like mobile phones, email, twitter or tight project deadlines. We got used to run through it, without looking left or right. And the bad thing is that we don’t recognize it. But we need some kind of slack in our life because we need time to reflect, improve and recreate. If you use Kanban to help organize your project, you know that you need some slack, in order to improve the kanban system continuously. It’s the same slack you need to see the real problems behind a bigger issue. If you slow down from time to time, you’ll see the details. These details may be important pieces of the puzzle you’re currently working on.

The next time your kid slows you down try the following: Let the kid be your coach and explore the slowness. Instead of getting angry, start to enjoy it. Enjoy where you are right now. Have a look around and observe the environment. Try to see the world with eyes of your kid. Maybe there are things you didn’t recognize before. Open yourself for the details around, like the color of the trees, the voices of the birds or even the cute little earthworm. BTW, did you know that earthworms are hermaphrodites?

After your kids were coaching you for a while, you’ll be able to rediscover the slowness, also in other parts of your life.

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