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Are you rushing for no reason?

Rush Hour Traffic. agtwo/FlickrI’ve got one of those long road trips coming up again next month. The last one was pretty cool in its own right and this one may actually top it. I mean, it involves a 2+ day train ride…

That ride on the California Zephyr is the part I’m looking forward to the most as it’ll force me to be disconnected… within reason. I’ve adopted a version of that policy recently for weekends. I don’t check the work accounts unless I’m expecting something. I remind myself how much fun it is to just stumble into conversations and share random things. I’m remembering what it’s like to actually have a weekend.

I used to spend a lot of time hanging out at the frame shop that once lived on the second floor of the SCAD bookstore, Ex Libris (It’s probably still there though I haven’t had the chance to talk to Brian in forever). I got used to seeing a quote framed on the wall of the workspace and used to be able to say it without even thinking about it:

“Shall I rush this job before i rush the rush job I was rushing before you rushed in?”

We do tend to be in a constant rush nowadays. There’s generally a reason you set parameters on projects – so you don’t end up having to do rush jobs. It’s the difference between knowing what you can accomplish while staying sane and thinking that doing all of this work will give you a ton of money you’ll be able to enjoy. It’s tough to enjoy the fruits of your labor when you’re too tired or too overcommitted to do so. You may think you’re going to lose out on so much money, but a better question may be whether you’re working to bring in cash or if you’re working to enjoy a certain lifestyle, a la Jessica Mans’ sentiment during a recent interview on FreelanceSwitch.

I stumbled across something else late last night. It was a challenge laid down by Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer. The status update read in part:

I hereby challenge each of you to look at your calendar for the week, find something that is scheduled that will have no impact on your bottom line, and cancel it. Don’t reschedule it, either.

Some of the comments posted as well as the entire challenge got me thinking not about what could be canceled, but what’s important and why. When people ask how you’re doing, how you respond in addition to what you say as you respond probably tells more about what’s really going on that you realize. Perhaps it’s time to figure out why you’re doing what you do?

I’m interested in seeing the responses Jason gets on Friday. I’m also thinking it’s probably time for me to pay that overdue library fine and download some eBooks for the journey. I’ve got to have something else to do during those 51½ hours on the train when I’m finalizing exactly how I want to tackle this issue for the coming year.

So… are we rushing too much or is this just the way it has to be?

Photo: Rush Hour Traffic. agtwo/Flickr

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