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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

Whoa there, Turbo!

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

A few weeks back, I got a LinkedIn message from a neighbor. I curiously clicked on it and read, “Several of us have noticed you speed down the street. Any way you could slow down, so we don’t have an unfortunate event?”

Cue the nauseating waves of shame.

I quickly typed back an effusive apology, and ever since, I have driven the other way out of my neighborhood to avoid eye contact (at a snail’s pace, of course).

While I’d like to think she was exaggerating, the truth is that I do have a lead foot. And I’m aware that it isn't even effective. One mathematician concluded that the average driver only saves 26 seconds a day by speeding, or about 2 minutes a week. So, even though we feel like we’re wrestling control from the time gods, we aren’t really getting ahead. And, in any case, it's not a risk I want to take.

Honestly, it’s not really about time. Being on time is actually one of my superpowers. But when I’m anxious, my subconscious response is to put the pedal to the metal.

This doesn’t just happen behind the wheel, either. When my stress levels rise, I find myself working faster and taking on more instead of pacing myself. I become less discerning about what I commit to, and I start piling on trivial tasks just to get a dopamine kick when I check them off. It’s madness, really.

Fortunately, I’m getting better at both prevention and recognizing the early signs. And I’ve developed a sense of humor about it. I’ve dubbed my speedy alter ego, Turbo.

Walk away, Turbo. It’ll all still be there tomorrow.

Whoa, Turbo. You may want to think twice before you say yes to that one.

Slow down, Turbo. You’re scaring the neighbors.


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