Haste Makes Waste

Yesterday I forgot my laptop bag at the Court House, in the Notary’s office. When I sat in the driver seat of my car, to hurry back from the Court House,  a fleeting suspicion did cross my mind, “Is my handbag in the car boot or have I left it back there?”


Almost unconsciously, I brushed the thought away, with an, “It must be there!” Why? Simply because I needed to hurry back and it would have taken 60 seconds to get out of the car, open the boot, check the bag, and restart the car.


Of course, when I reached my office, the bag was missing. It took another 2 hours to fetch it. Had someone walked away with it, that would have meant another month to recover the lost material – some of it would of course, have been lost forever.


My 2 minutes of haste cost me 2 hours of additional work. It could have cost me years.



Today morning, my father fell, while hurrying to take my mother for her Visa interview. He fractured 5 ribs. He is 82. Those 2 minutes of haste cost him 3 months of convalescing because of the injury. It could have been much worse…


In a third incident this week itself, my wife damaged her favorite cold coffee mixer while hurrying to get lunch ready. She placed the mixer too close to the oven in her hurry, and before she knew, it’s plastic body had melted. Her favorite mixer!


If I were allowed artistic license to modify that age-old, I would do it this way.


Undue Haste ALWAYS makes waste.


We learned that in school or perhaps I do not know when, but we have forgotten it. When we hurry, we think we are saving precious moments. Actually, we are just letting impatience get the better of us.


What takes time will take time. There is rarely merit in cutting corners by hurrying. A shoelace does not get tied any faster just because we hurry to get it done!


These days, however, because everyone is always short on time,  making waste because of haste has turned into something of an epidemic. You’ll see it all around you if you stop to notice.  Everyone is hurrying to get something done. In the bargain, more time is wasted, poor work is done and lots and lots of stress is produced!


There is a little problem here though.

We say above, that undue haste makes waste. Pray then, what is undue haste and what is due haste?


In our modern world, we are taught to do things “Just in Time“, we are cautioned against being perfectionists, and we are told that time is the most precious resource that we possess. So why should we not save time by cutting out unnecessary things?

Well, exactly! The answer lies in the question. Undue haste means cutting necessary corners and leaving out necessary things. That is the undue part. If you leave out necessary things, howsoever much of a hurry you are in, the decisions will always come back to haunt you. Look at it like that necessary both in the car, which, if left untightened, continues to loosen itself, till it perhaps causes you an accident someday.


And how do we figure out what is necessary and what is not? Well, that depends on what you are up to. The good part is that most of us usually know it when we are leaving out something important. Leaving out something when we are not even aware of its importance is ignorance, but leaving out something even when we know it is important, is either carelessness or haste. The consequences of both are the same.


So, dear floks, while you make haste while the sun shines, do not make undue haste and increase your work multiple times in trying to get what you wanted done.


Get back to basics folks…


Sunil Prem, Aug 2017

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