Patience is Such a Waste of Time

I saw those words on a button last week and had to chuckle. In our wired world of instant gratification, sometimes it’s hard to wait. But patience can have rewards.

Should I buy that new phone/tablet/laptop the day it goes on sale or wait a few months to see if its price comes down and its bugs are corrected? Patience. Monitor the buzz on the street and online before you act. It might save you from buying an overpriced lemon.

Should I ask my graphic design person/web guy/PR rep/etc. to bang out a rush job on Friday afternoon or let him/her think about it over the weekend and deliver the work on Monday? Patience. You’ll get better output, from a happier person.

Should I leave an angry voice mail for that prospect who was giving positive feedback earlier but has not returned any of my calls for a week? Patience. Some of my recent prospects have been sick. That’s why they didn’t call back.

Should I be upset that the Twitter account I set up for a client last week only has 71 followers? Patience. If you provide good content and engagement, your list of followers will grow. But not overnight.

Should I take the car/furniture/appliance salesman’s first discounted-from-list-price offer? Patience. As Herb Cohen points out in his classic book You Can Negotiate Anything, one of the key factors in any negotiation is time. If you’ve got it, take it.

Should I swing at the first pitch thrown to me during the softball game at the annual company picnic? Patience. You may not have swung a bat in months (years?) and the ball will look huge as it falls across the plate. But waiting will allow you to see the ball and time your swing better on successive pitches.

Should I grab on to the first decent idea that floats through my brain for that creative thing I’m doing? Patience. Take time to brainstorm, even if it’s a solo effort. After careful consideration, that initial inkling may still have merit or it may be stowed away if a better idea comes along.

We all have a limited amount of time to get everything done. But with most things in life, doing them well is more important that doing them fast. Patience.

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