Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

[00:00:00] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Well, hello! This is The Daily Five with Aurooba, that's me, where we reflect on creating our best lives a little bit every day. Here we go.

[00:00:15] I was ranting to my spouse about something in classic Aurooba fashion as we finished up our dinner the other day. And the topic was something about how sometimes people go fast and decide not to do the right thing and then end up having to do it all over again multiple times, which ends up taking even longer. So what was the point of going fast anyway?

[00:00:36] And my spouse said, you know, "there's a saying in the military, slow is smooth and smooth is fast." And I really liked that saying. And it also reminded me of another saying I once read from a Chinese philosopher, something like, "nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

[00:00:58] That military saying that my spouse told me about, it originated from the special operations sector of the military where speed and execution, precise execution rather, are both critical. When we go fast at the expense of doing things well, we make mistakes, we are less controlled, and therefore, instead of going fast, we end up making far slower progress.

[00:01:24] People and systems that are calm move faster because the waters aren't choppy. In the world of productivity, we often talk about the concept of flow. When you're so focused and deep into something that you lose all track of time, and you are able to accomplish a lot. But here's the thing, you cannot achieve the state of flow when you go fast.

[00:01:49] And when you achieve the state of flow, you accomplish things more precisely and quicker than a person not in flow. When we're overloaded, when we have a lot to do, our instinct is to try to do it really fast, or try to pull something magical out of our hat. And most of the time, you either fail, or you get it done, but you've executed very poorly. And that's a bad call.

[00:02:16] Instead, work slowly. Aggressively, yes. If you need to, but slowly. When we come to our work, whatever it may be, from a place of stillness, we are smoother, and therefore faster.

[00:02:32] Sometimes the house gets really messy because we let it go for a few too many days, and it can seem like a daunting task. And if we try to do it really fast, we might break something or miss something or make bad decisions like tossing that really nice dress on the guest bed and shutting the door and then not being able to find it the next time because we didn't take the time to just put it away properly in its place.

[00:03:01] If I take a deep breath, put on my headphones, listen to some good music or an audiobook, I can usually get it done well and much faster than I thought.

[00:03:12] Let me get on the record and say that doing the right thing will drive better execution. faster execution, and make you feel good too. So, do the dishes properly. Take slow steps as you go for a walk. Time is more malleable than we think, at least our sense of time anyway, which is sometimes far more important than time in the most objective sense.

[00:03:40] Don't go for the optics of getting better, go for actually getting better. Smooth, well done stuff naturally scales and progresses faster than things with rough edges and shoddy execution.

[00:03:53] And there's this great quote from Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work. He says, "Focus hard. In reasonable bursts. One day at a time." You can't focus hard all the time, you're literally incapable of it. Incapable of it as a human being. And if you do somehow do it, it's not a badge of honor, y'all. You'll just burn yourself out.

[00:04:16] Instead, you can sprint consistently. You don't have to either sprint or either be consistent. Consistent sprints trump plodding away one day at a time. And it trumps sprinting once in a while unpredictably also. Because slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. And if nature can go slowly and still get it all done, then I am pretty sure you can too, and so can I.

[00:04:54] Thanks for listening. Same time tomorrow?