Create Your Account

Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Slowing Down

by Maggie Franklin | October 24, 2014 | Bookmark +

It seems like yesterday — that’s what happens when you’ve been doing this for 22 years — but it was more like 15 years ago now that everyone was so worried about their speed.

I know a lot of techs still worry about speed. But the buzz in the networking groups isn’t focused on it like it used to be. There was so much talk, so much debate, so many classes dedicated to improving speed.

The goal was to get every service down to just under an hour so you could book on the hour. There are still plenty of gurus who sing this song, and I’m not here to argue with their wisdom. Time is money, after all.

I put a lot of effort into achieving that goal myself. And I got there. In 2002 I was booking hourly for every service I offered.

It took less than a year for me to be totally over that; my hands were cramping into claws and I was living off of ibuprofen. But mostly, I wasn’t having fun anymore. I wasn’t spending quality time with my old clients and I didn’t get to know the new ones. I didn’t have a chance to keep up with what was going on in my regulars’ lives and I didn’t have time to fill them in on mine. And most importantly — my nail art suffered.

I’ve always said that if I stop loving my job, I’m going to go work somewhere that provides me with paid vacation and sick leave, and I was very close to having to put my money where my mouth was back then.

I started booking an hour and a half and I started loving my job again.

I still book an hour and half for most services — sometimes two hours if I know I’m going to be doing some intense artwork. But I realize that I still work very fast compared to many techs. I have a hard time finding acrylic that sets fast enough for me, for instance.

This afternoon, I laughed at myself a little as I realized that I seem to have abandoned much of the table set up and routine I had developed for increasing efficiency and speed. I have my monomer sitting clear across the table from my polymer now! I carefully place a cap over my sculpting brush after I finish applying acrylic specifically to keep me busy for a moment while the acrylic sets enough to file. I keep various other tools in drawers and cabinets instead of on the tabletop where I can reach them without stopping what I’m doing.

Somewhere along the way, I have subconsciously managed to adapt a new routine to pace myself in order to prevent myself from hurrying. This way I move more deliberately, give my hands a chance to rest between movements, and take time to make my clients feel like they are getting my full attention.

The realization came as a bit of a shock to me. I still remember working so hard to build my speed, the idea that I actually have to create busy work to avoid going too fast seems hard to believe.

I wish my 15-year-ago self could see me now!

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about

We respect your data and privacy.
By clicking the submit button below, you are agreeing with Bobit Business Media’s Privacy Policy and this outlined level of consent.

Load More
a Bobit media brand

Create your free Bobit Connect account to bookmark content.

The secure and easy all-access connection to your content.
Bookmarked content can then be accessed anytime on all of your logged in devices!

Create Account