At the I Quit Sugar office at the moment I’ve become a tedious boss. I’ve gotten an idea in my head and I’m banging on about it. Worse, I justify it by thinking to myself, “But I’m right!”.
I’ve been picking up on some frantic busy-ness. Too many things. Too many decisions made too quickly unsupported by enough mindful reflection. And so I’m walking around like a cockie repeating this mantra: “Spend five more minutes, go another layer deeper.”
Which is to say, pause, reflect, sit on a task or a decision or a blog post or a brainstorm for a bit longer.
And go in deeper. Discuss it a touch more. Throw it around, chew on it. And allow The Right Thing to percolate to the surface, through the layers of distraction and frazzle (and bossy boss cawing).
We are all so frantically busy and distracted. We toggle and spin. And The Right Thing is being drowned out under the layers.
I was feeling bad about being a cawing cockie-boss when I read this opinion column yesterday on PM Tony Abbott’s visit to Arnhem Land by journalist Amos Aikman. He mindfully sums up the visit as being a frantic moment in toggled media spin and advises that what the local Yolngu people would have benefited from was…more time, contemplation and going in deeper.
Aikman writes: “Between tweeting and doing pieces for radio and TV and endlessly filing for online, there wasn’t much time for contemplation. ‘It’s all here but I don’t have time to do it in depth,’ one reporter said, thrusting down an iPad and reaching for a microphone…”
He writes that the key to founding good relationships is a common sense of humanity and refers to something an SBS journo shared: “Usually, the best way to really talk and connect with (the locals) was over a cigarette and giving the appearance of having all the time in the world. It’s then you learn they’re funny and welcoming people.”
And continues: “Had Abbott taken a slower approach, perhaps more people would have had similar experiences.”
Honestly, we all need The Right Thing to percolate to the surface right now. More than ever. If it only means taking five more minutes (with your child when listening tonight, with a staff member as they share a grievance, with an email that’s a bit tricky) as often as possible, then let’s all bloody well do it.