…you move too fast. You’ve got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobblestones, looking for love and feelin’ groovy. — Paul Simon, 59th Street Bridge Song
“Groovy, schoovy,” my inner drill sergeant growls. “Time to march. Yo’ left, yo’ left, yo’ left, right, left…”
I’m addicted to the feeling of accomplishment. Getting things done is my drug, and I need my daily fix. I love crossing items off my to-do list. I love it so much that I sometimes cheat and add items after I’ve accomplished them, just to have the satisfaction of crossing them off.
Nothing fuels my habit as much as coffee—ah, sweet coffee. (Actually, I don’t take it sweet. Just milk, please.) As soon as I feel those tendrils of caffeine-fueled focus curling through my veins, the game is afoot. First, I’m gonna do this, and then I’ll need twenty minutes to finish that, and then… Woe unto the loved one who gets in my way when I’m in rocket-ass mode.
During my teaching career, a day’s success hinged on rabid multi-tasking and squeezing productivity from every little crumb of time. In three minutes, I could dash to the restroom and Xerox another five copies of a quiz. Zoom!
But now, I’m retired, and I can take my time, slow down, enjoy the process, rather than just spit out results all day. The trouble is, I don’t really know how. It’s going on two years now, and I’m still jonesing for accomplishment. My fingers till itch to cross items of that to-do list. I want to move fast, think fast, get stuff done right now.
Is there a support group for speed junkies like me? The only time I feel really comfortable going slow is when I’m reading—and even then I’m constantly checking to see how close I am to the end of the article or chapter. Maybe if I set up a chart and give myself a gold star for every half-hour I spend moving slowly… Perhaps I can make slowing down an item on my to-do list?