We had “SNOWMAGGEDON” on Sunday in Kansas City, and the kids were off school on Monday. Most businesses started late as well. What a treat, an extra day after Thanksgiving for all of us to be together in our house. (There is no sarcasm font, so here’s the tip to read that previous sentence dripping with it).
I was working from home so having all of the family home wasn’t helping productivity. Early in the day, the kids started asking me to take them sledding. Coming off a holiday there is a ton of work to do, so I was firm until the afternoon. If you have the energy to ask me 100 times, you get the payoff for perseverance.
I had a meeting where I was going to be a listening participant. I decided to miss this fine meeting to go sledding. When was the last time you went sledding? The day ends early this time of year so we quickly had to find boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, goggles, that actually fit, and get out there before the sun went down.
Initially, I felt guilty about missing the meeting until I got to the hill. It was awesome! It was that perfect type of snow that when packed down is a raceway for your sled. I was instantly ten years old again. We made a ramp and did all sorts of silly combinations of going down the hill. We won sledding. It was a good day.
The snow was fast.
The roads were still dangerous on Monday. I noticed while driving that everyone was more patient, more forgiving, more cautious, driving slower, and polite. Everyone was in tune with how fast they were driving and space between cars. Everyone knew it would just take longer and that was OK.
I had an early meeting that morning, and with all this caution, it took me five minutes longer to arrive with the snow. Five minutes. You know what? I was way more relaxed. I had no expectation of arriving at a particular time so I just went about getting there. Five minutes. By taking my time and relaxing I lost 5 minutes. Or as I thought later, by weaving in and out of traffic, running yellows, picking the right lane, and maximizing my route efficiency I gain … five minutes … and a whole lot of stress.
The meeting was more relaxed too. You would have thought that after a holiday the work world was ready to get back at it. Instead, our meeting had this strange, enjoyable, and relaxed feel. We also got a lot done.
The snow made it slow.
I went fast with my family. I went slow with my work. It was the opposite of how I typically do life. With my family, I want to rest, relax, unwind. At work I want to create forward momentum, achieve, and get results. The snow made me swap those two modes.
What would happen this month if you moved at the speed of snow?
November 30, 2018