February 2023: Slowing Down
I am reminding myself to “slow down” more often lately. Maybe it is because I am a grandma now and I watch the littles grow so fast. Or maybe it is because I know I am getting older and the years go by so much quicker! Whatever the reason, I am making this year the year for slowing down. Not quitting, not retreating, but simply taking a bit more time to make sure that the things I do matter and that I do them with care and quality.
In our line of work here at the Ames Chamber of Commerce, we run hard and fast. Why wouldn’t we? There is always a lot going on across the Ames MSA. From economic development projects within the communities we serve, to Coffee Mingles for our Chamber members, to a host of other activities, there isn’t a lot of down time. Slowing down and paying attention to details to provide the best value needs to be deliberate.
Deliberately slowing down takes concerted effort. In a world that is built around convenience and instantaneous results, it can be difficult to find the balance between getting your projects done and getting them done right. It could be the extra time you spend on the phone or exchanging texts about an upcoming event. It may be the extra touch you put on a table setting or simply making sure the spelling is correct in the publication you are distributing. Slowing down and being mindful of how to achieve the best results, though it might take a bit longer, will inevitability bring service level from good to excellent. These things matter!
Slowing down and taking time to listen is imperative. Ever meet anyone who talks so much you don’t think they will ever breathe? What impression does this leave you with? Listening may be the most underrated skill out there. When we take time to listen, we hear. We may not always hear what we want to hear, but we may hear a nugget of wisdom that will carry us forward in a way that changes us. It is entirely possible that we could hear valuable information that grows our companies, grows our communities, and grows us!
While I take the time this year to slow down, I invite you to do the same. Take time to be kind to a stranger. Take time to listen intently to really understand. Pay closer attention to details that really do matter. Find ways to add value to everything you do. Make all things that you have a hand in show the quality they deserve.
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