Working with a client today and the need to go slow to go fast in his business was slapping him upside the face.
I know just how he’s feeling because it’s been slapping me, too – specifically with my flugelhorn. For one year, my teacher has emphasized that in practicing the flugel, which takes great physical strength and endurance (in the lips, just like a trumpet), progress is best achieved by resting as much time as you practice. In other words, practice an exercise for 30 seconds; rest 30 seconds. Repeat.
And for one year, I’ve been resisting. Why? I tell him I don’t have time for that. It’s all well for him; he’s a professional musician and practices five hours a day. I have a day job, not to mention family and other responsibilities; I only have one hour a day to practice. So I’ve been telling him – for one year – that it’s just not efficient for me to practice/ rest / practice / rest.
This week in my lesson, he countered my argument, suggesting that I am not making more progress but less by practicing without equal rest. The resting, he insists, is part of the strength building.
The very next day, I try it. Practice 30 seconds of exercise. Rest 30 seconds. Repeat.
Wow! A very strange outcome. Up to now, it has taken me a full hour to complete my full exercise routine. But this time – taking equal rests – it took me LESS time. I completed the full routine in only 45 minutes. Next day, same result: with equal rests, 45 minutes. And the next. And the next.
I think we all have stories like these, where going slow allowed us to accelerate our progress. What are yours? Where else can you apply this in your life?