People are often in a hurry, but I suggest that people don’t always need to be in such a hurry.

Real life example from one of my jobs:

Co-worker and I need information, in the moment, to continue to do our job. Boss is offsite. We approach boss assistant with our request for information. Boss assistant calls boss on a wireless phone and puts it on speakerphone. Boss answers the phone; boss assistant tells boss that information is needed.

Boss, on the other end of the phone, is rattled and harried, with short breath and short words. “Real quick,” boss says. I feel my own throat tightening. Can I get my request out in the minimum words needed, without annoying boss?

Boss assistant holds the phone in front of my face. “Go,” boss assistant says, curtly.

What is this, an effing race?

Why do we all think we are so damn busy? Talk about ego.

I got the words out in the minimum wordage possible. But I still feel (albeit, wrongly) that I’ve committed some crime by taking up boss’s and boss assistant’s time. G-d forbid I talk too much. (Those of you who know me probably know that I usually don’t talk enough, or that I try to weigh my words carefully. I am an introvert.)

You might be wondering what I am doing in a job where people act like this. I have wondered this myself. I will be changing this up soon. The bigger question, I think, is…it it really so necessary to falsely create such a culture of urgency?

Urgency, or even creating urgency where it didn’t exist before, can be a good thing. Give yourself a deadline, get something done. Ride on the momentum of success to create additional successes. I’ve done this. I’m aware when I am doing it. But…I want to live in a world where I am allowed the two more seconds, or one more minute, to properly express myself.

So…how to be mindful in such a situation?

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Be clear on what is another party’s “stuff” and what is yours. In this case, for example, do I need to take on the stress of the urgency from boss and boss assistant? No.
  • Don’t add to the confusion by creating your own drama and stress in your mind. It does not matter if you take two more words than needed to express your message. We all communicate differently. Be yourself.
  • Let go of the outcome. Boss and boss assistant can act as stressed and harried as they want; you don’t need to take this on unless you desire it.
  • Remove yourself from an unhealthy situation if needed.
  • Breathe.

Mindfulness — so simple, and so easy to forget. But it’s also very easy to put into practice.