This morning I stopped at a local convenience store to get a coffee. A lot of people had the same idea. As we were all jumbled together reaching for cups and lids, a man said to me, “Go ahead, I’m not in a hurry this morning.”
I thanked him and as I drove to the office, two thoughts came to me. Either this man is extremely polite and has no agenda for the day, or I have a hurried presence. Maybe it’s both.
Do you ever feel like someone pressed the fast forward button on your life?
I need to confess I’m not just living a normal “play” speed, but a “fast forward” speed life.
My kids tell me I need a DVR. They say you can watch your favorite shows without commercials—just fast forward through the commercials. I’ve been told if you really want to get through the commercials, hit it four times and it goes 300 times faster! You can do a thirty second commercial in 1/10th of a second! That would be awesome!
It’s awesome for TV, but it’s terrible if your life is running at those speeds!
Life does include deadlines, to-do lists, obligations, meetings and projects to complete. We have laundry to fold, lawns to mow and dogs to walk. We have places to go, people to meet, Facebook comments to post, twitter feeds to check, and emails to read and reply. We are busy.
One of the reasons for my fast forward pace is I think I can do more than I can, so I consistently cram more into a day than is reasonable. I jam things into the margins of my day, leaving little opportunity to relax, rest, think, pray or be friends.
What if the solution to slowing down was a simple yet powerful question? This powerful question is found in a simple acronym W.I.N. What’s Important Now?
I first discovered this question while reading the book Winning Every Day by the famous college football coach Lou Holtz. He instructed his players to ask themselves this question 35 times a day. Holtz wanted his players to learn how to focus on what mattered most at any given time.
Every day we are confronted with a number of critical choices and decisions. Our responses have a lasting impact on our health, our relationships, our careers and our finances. The simple act of stopping to ask this question initiates a pause. Therein lays the solution: If I want to live at a sustainable pace, I must pause to prioritize decisions, choices, actions, and events in our personal and professional lives.
Here is how I am implementing this question today. Upon finishing this blog I will ask, “if I only had two hours to work today, what would I spend those two hours working on?”
How might you use this question?