Week 5: Taking Things Slower – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 5: Taking Things Slower

I was on the phone with my parents the other day talking about how I’m having a hard time finding enough work to do because I tend to finish things really quickly. There’s something to be said about efficiency and making the most of your time, but the quality of work is the most important. Last week, I was tasked with writing a full 20-page grant proposal, which I finished in about a day and a half. My mom was looking through my elementary school report cards the other day and the main note from teachers was “She works really fast and that sometimes affects the quality of her work.” It’s never easy to hear this type of constructive criticism, but it’s important to inwardly reflect on the kind of academic environments I grew up in so I can grow and improve.

I’ve talked with other DCERP fellows this summer about managing stress and trying to relax and recuperate, but that can be hard because of the environment we’re all used to. During the school year, I feel like I’m going at 100 mph consistently trading quality for efficiency because of the sheer amount of things that we take on as students. I’ve had to take a step back this summer and reevaluate that mindset in the context of this internship because I shouldn’t feel like I’m racing against the clock. I have the time to be thorough, detail-oriented, and patient. As Michigan students, it can be so hard to put on those brakes sometimes because the very ambition that contributes to being overly efficient is what got us here in the first place. It’s all a matter of redirecting that anxious high-speed energy into being slow, thorough, and methodical in connecting with the community this summer.

2 thoughts on “Week 5: Taking Things Slower”

  1. This is such a great reminder! You are certainly not alone in this! I think it can be really hard to transition from a mindset of efficiency into a mindset of efficacy. I would love to chat more about what practices are working for you when it comes to slowing down and taking the time to work through things methodically.

  2. Thanks for this Maya. I really needed to hear this too. I think it’s great that you are able to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. This is something that I think everyone should exercise so that we can be our best selves. I’m going to remember this post when going in to the school year as well.

    – Aminata

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