• Bill Petrie

The 59th Street Bridge Post

Pausing to review your work will elevate it.

The older I get, the less time I feel like I have. Nothing underscores this more than the realization that my twin sons will be heading to college this autumn. I prefer to say “this autumn” for the simple fact it sounds a lot farther away than four months so, humor me. Between graduation preparations, choosing campus housing, scrambling for every available scholarship dollar, scheduling two orientations, orchestrating two moves, and preparing for the nest that’s about to be empty, a lot is going on at Stately Petrie Manor.

However, like many of you, my life at work is just as hectic as it is at home. Whether it’s focusing on varied work projects, writing blogs like this one, producing and appearing on podcasts, virtually speaking to groups, or creating content. In fact, I usually find myself dashing madly as I approach the finish line of one project so I can begin another. Seemingly as often, someone ends up catching mistakes, which makes me want to kick myself for not being as attentive to detail as I need to be.

Recently, my business partner (rightfully and thankfully) called me out on a blog post that contained a least three grammatical errors and several omitted words – something she did because she knows I can do much better. This type of accountability is as vital as it is appreciated, but it brings up a more significant point: I need to slow down.

It seems that many of us – including me – neglect to take the extra five minutes to review our work even though we know it will elevate the final product. Since that blog post where I was “grammatically challenged,” I have renewed my commitment to giving my work the time and respect it needs to be the best it can be. Before I proclaim something as completed, I take a deep breath and summon the words of the fabulous Simon & Garfunkel in “The 59th Street Bridge Song”:

Slow down, you move too fast.

By simply allowing those words to swirl around my brain for a few moments gives me that pause I need to see things that I haven’t, correct errors I missed, and ensure the work I do is as good as it can be before delivery. By rushing through things, I only undermine my efforts, and the quality of work suffers – and I’m not the only one.

With all the competition out there, doesn’t it make sense to slow it down and put your best work out the first time? Simon, Garfunkel, and I say yes. Now, if I could only have them write a song about slowing down time so I could enjoy just a few more months with Drew and Mitch before they begin to conquer the world, that would truly make me feel groovy.

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