Last night I was re-reading a few sections of Stephen Covey’s classic 1989 book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and came across an intriguing four word sentence. It came in an example of a personal mission statement and said: Hustle while you wait. I love divergent thoughts, which as prompt me to question conventional wisdom. In this case the convention comes from adding an adverb: Wait Patiently. Beyond raising the question of when patience helps or hurts comes the question of how I can hustle while I wait. I am resolved to try these steps:
- Accelerate intentionality. Shift from distress to a good look at what I will accomplish in the rest of my day. My body at rest is distinct from my mind at rest and most forms of intentionality help me to settle down.
- Observe. If I am in any form of waiting room or line, use the time to see how the organization is supporting waiting and what it could do better to reduce agitation. Insights from what I see and hear may well come from the times when I have little else to do.
- Reflect. So what is going on that defines waiting? For me, reflection often leads to an understanding that what I glibly see as an external factor causing my wait is actually something that I can at least to some extent control. While it is easy to say that the ball is in someone else’s court, the reality is often that I am waiting on myself.