Is Fast Ever Fast Enough?

I got a visit today from one of the operations managers at my job.  He was trying to watch and see how I handled a certain report so that he could train someone else at another location to backfill me when necessary.  From the moment he sat down at my desk he was trying to change everything that I do on this report.  I could understand if it was not effective but the fact is, I have been doing this report for about 6 months now and I haven’t heard a complaint yet.


The guy who was doing it before me literally took all day to get it done and he only had one function, this report.  He would come in at 0730 and stay past 1700 to do this report.  I have absolutely no clue what he was doing because now that I have taken this over it literally takes me at the very most 2 hours but more often than not, I can have it done in 30 minutes.  So obviously what I’m doing is far more efficient than the guy before me.


Now I know a little about computers and Office products but Excel is one of those things that I’m a little slower at.  I remember the first time I was introduced to macros; I still don’t know how I lived before them!  So the operations guy is sitting behind me and says “Why don’t you use a VLOOKUP?”  My response to this is simple, “Because I don’t know how.”  I do however know that my predecessor WAS using the VLOOKUP function of Excel and that obviously wasn’t working all that well for him.


Don’t get me wrong, I understand the concept of a VLOOKUP and I can see where it has definite benefits but I can also see where it could be a little time consuming.


I don’t even care that there is or isn’t a better way to do what I’m doing, in fact I agree that there most definitely is a better way but the thing is, if this works for me, and I enjoy doing it this way, why do I need to change?



Why must we always be faster than fast?  And faster than fast is never fast enough.  Why can’t we learn to slow things down and enjoy them for a change?


My thing with this situation is- I’m the type of person who has to be doing something constantly.  I can’t stand to be bored.  I thrive in a fast paced, high stress; “balls to the wall” type environment however lately, work has been super slow.  So one way to compensate this is to try to manage my time a little better, meaning, take my time in doing things and making sure that they are done correctly.


Now, I know that I should keep the company and my customer in mind when doing this and I do.  Just because I take an extra 30 minutes to do this report doesn’t mean they don’t get it in a timely fashion in fact, they request to have it no later than 1500 every day and they ALWAYS have it before noon and no one has ever complained.


What’s that saying?  “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”,” Slow down and smell the roses”…either of those seems to play well in this problem.


When are we going to learn that we can get more done if we take the time to step back and slow down occasionally?  It applies to every day life, not just my reports.  Humans feel as though we have to hit the ground running and continue going flat out until we finally break.  Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the world.  Maybe if we slowed down and enjoyed the things that we take for granted we could eventually get more done…hmmm just a thought!


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