One sock at a time

Yesterday I had the unique opportunity to do an impromptu coaching session with a young economics student who had a hard time keeping on top of his laundry. We were on set at a soap opera; he played an orderly, I a doctor. While waiting for our walk-on part (which took the better part of the day), he studiously reviewed his University work and appeared non-plussed at the activities around him. The day grew long (and his textbook boring) so we began to chat about The Power of Slow.

His eyes grew bright as he considered the possibility of actually tackling the one thing that seems to beat him down every week.

“Laundry!” he exclaimed. I could see the struggle as he grew tense at the thought of the pile awaiting him at home.

“Think reward system,” I explained. Had I been more clear-headed (we were, after all, seven hours into our waiting on set), I might have used some economic terms to help him understand my point. But he got it anyway as I said he needed to think of the mountain of dirty clothes as an opportunity to reward himself once he tackled some of it.

“I’m not talking the entire thing, here,” I continued with a grin. “We’re looking at grabbing the white wash first, ya’ know?” Sort and toss. I grew animated as I laid out a plan he might consider.

“Tell yourself you’ll just do the whites first, then maybe in two days, the darks. By week’s end you will have gotten down to the bottom of your laundry basket. Reward time!”

He smiled inwardly at the thought.

No matter where we go, we can live the slow. Sometimes all we need is to take it one sock at a time.

How do you break down your work into bite-sized chunks? Share your ideas here. I’d love to know!

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  1. Tweets that mention One sock at a time « The Power of Slow --

    December 9, 2010 at 6:39 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christine Hohlbaum, Christine Hohlbaum. Christine Hohlbaum said: [Slow Tip] One sock at a time: Yesterday I had the unique opportunity to do an impromptu coaching session with a… […]

  2. John Marine

    December 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Hi–going fast all the time when I was a young man — ALMOST KILLED ME –!!!!!!!!!!! almost killed me- I had noooo fun at all and just pressuerpressurepressure — all the time –driving fast making love fast-eating fast- doing things all the time – fastfastfastfast- arrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh– NOW – slow——-SLOWSLOWSLOWSLOW– is my watchword of the moment- and guess what ?? the moments are sooooooooooooooo much more sweeter–heheheheheehehhe- yeah- I get it finally – at 65 – I love going slow all the time – esp. driving and eating – cutting wood – piling wood- collecting rocks as a hobby and physical pasttime and exercise—- wow– thanks for that knowledge- slow down dinkweed!!!!!!!! slow down and look around dinkweed+++++++ slow down – smell and look at the roses- see what is right there in front of you- right here right now- slow down – type slower – think slow- think slow- just be– BE — get it? just be – do not always be doing something – when you can spend some of your valuable time just being in the moment you are in – you have learned how to live- OK/ get it ? good !!! now – good luck and slow down -best John Marine

  3. John Marine

    December 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    hehehehhee- thanks for this little blog or twitter whatever it is called- thanks- I am focusing today on going slowslowslow= in all things- it requires a certain focus — on the present moment only – just slow down and smell the roses===++++&*&^%$ focus on the present moment- starting with my typing – I am always typing soooooo fast – it takes all the pleasure out of what I am doing right here right now- sooooooooooo — I wilwillwliwillwillwill – slow down and focus on NOWNOWNOWNOWNOW right here right now++*********8 right here right now$$$$$ only – fabulous – just fabulous– thanks for this site – best to all – John Marine- anyone here from Maine? how come Steve Abbott lost in the republican primary for Governor? how come ? Get back to me???? thanks

    1. powerofslow


      December 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Welcome to the world of slow, John. May you embrace your personal bank account of time with all your might!

  4. John Marine

    December 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    well——-still at it- going slow – thanks for the great advice- slow down dinkweed??$#@!!! slow down – Ok ? thanks for the reminders- iwillfocusonnowandslowdowninallthingsthanksfortheadvice– hehehehehehe- I getitnow- slowdown

  5. Val Garner

    December 9, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    That must have really encouraged him. So many times when there’s a large, daunting task in front of us, it can be very difficult to find that starting point. Many people (me included) get visually over-stimulated making it seem much more overwhelming than it really is.

  6. Alice Tanner

    December 10, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Simply taking a project and breaking it down into 3 or 4 steps makes any task easier and the momentum gained from finishing the smaller parts seems to hasten the finishing of the whole. When a snake eats something large and all in one bite it must lay idle for days digesting. Glad I have other options!

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