Festina lente

I always say, ‘Look, I’d rather you take an extra minute or two and slow up service to get it right.’ Because the one minute behind you are now is going to become six minutes behind because we’re going to have to redo the plate.

Bill Telepan explaining one of the principles of mise-en-place: slow down to speed up.

I read this a day or so before I read Stef Lewandowski’s essay on makefulness, in which he discusses the Latin phrase festina lente:

There are many historical and cultural references to the flow state, yet many people seem to be unfamiliar with it. If we go back to Roman times, we have the concept of festina lente — which roughly translates as “make haste slowly”, and gave rise to the idea of “slow is smooth, smooth is fast”. The phrase has its roots in military strategy—by going slowly you make progress, whereas rushing ahead recklessly could result in casualties. It has adapted over time and many people now take it to mean that it is important to balance urgency and diligence, and that a state of flow is where that occurs on a personal level.

I like the idea of balancing urgency and diligence. Putting too much emphasis on urgency is almost always counterproductive. This is about prioritization: taking time to do the things the things that matter, rather thank trying to do everything in as little time as possible.