Slow Your Role

Cinse Bonino
2 min readJun 23, 2024

Have you ever been served by a waitperson, most likely a slightly older woman in a traditional diner, who gives you her full attention, who gets everything right about your order, but also never appears to be in a hurry? Have you then noticed how she seems to get twice as much done as the other waitstaff who are rushing around to handle their tables? Being effective and efficient while appearing to be relaxed is an art form. It’s a beautiful thing to be on the receiving end of if you’re lucky enough to experience it. These days companies often assume employees who function in a constant state of urgency are more dedicated and productive. They become suspicious of employees who appear calm. This type of judgment happens outside of the workplace as well. Parents who aren’t constantly manically invested in their children’s development may be seen to be shirking their parental duties. Vacation- or life-partners who don’t orchestrate one fun activity after another may be seen to be only minimally invested in their commitments. Urgency is often based on being in crisis mode: either focusing intently on preventing a crisis or on ending one. This shifts our focus onto what we don’t want rather than on what we do want. This behavior is often laced with fear. It may be the fear of being judged for a subpar performance, or perhaps a fear of not being seen as essential. Fear shallows our breaths and shortens our attention spans. Radiated fear does nothing to inspire confidence in others. You may be seen on the surface to be “on it” because of your sense of urgency but the fruits of your actions will soon be discovered to be lacking. People, whether your colleagues, subordinates, or family members, will smell your fear and sense your uncertainty. That waitress I mentioned, let’s call her Mabel, knows how to make us feel as if it she is invested in our dining experience. Slow down. Focus. Channel your energy toward making choices that create something good in the moment rather than toward trying to avoid a potential disaster you fear. Take your time. It’s yours after all. You get to decide how to use it.

Cinse Bonino
2024

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Cinse Bonino

Cinse, a former professor with a background in the psychology of human learning, writes nonstop, and is addicted to capturing the human experience in words.