I feel like I live in Spain sometimes, or South America. Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing, actually. I love South America. And Spain. I visited both places and love their relaxed and laid-back lifestyle and mentality. I just never really expected to be dealing with the “mañana, mañana” mentality outside of those places as much as I do. Simply not showing up for an appointment seems perfectly acceptable, without reason and multiple times in a row in just the past few weeks only. And not just talking about friends looking to meet for a coffee or lunch, but people who are looking to get hired or sell their products and services to me. Since when doesn’t a handshake or verbal/email agreement to meet mean anything anymore? It baffles me, time and time again.
One of my old co-workers had a poster in her office that says: “A lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute and emergency on my part.” I couldn’t agree more, but would like to take it to the next level: unless you’re driving an ambulance or firetruck, urgent simply doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. Most problems tend to resolve themselves by simply ignoring them. Or maybe they won’t, but I’m taking my one risk a day and believe they will. Nothing is really that urgent, except when you see smoke or a person in medical distress.
How about we start a new trend. Let’s forget about “asap” and “urgent”. Simply strike it from the dictionary. Why is everybody in such a rush in the first place? Everything needs to be done quickly. If you need an example just look at rush hour traffic on any given weekday. Let’s forget about rushing, especially during rush hour. Instead, let’s stick to appointments we set to meet people. Let’s show up for personal as well as work meetings relaxed, on “Dutch time”: 15 minutes early. So when the actual meeting time is there we’re ready to go, instead of still trickling in. From now on, let’s apologize for being late if we’re past my “Dutch” 15 minute mark. That’s right – well ahead of the agreed upon time. No more “asap”, “urgent”, and running around pointlessly from meeting to meeting pretending we’re working on something really important, arriving late and stressed everywhere we go.
Breathe, relax, there is no sign of smoke and nobody is dying.