Growing up, I used to get chastised a lot for rushing around—not that I apparently took it heart, as anyone who knows me can tell you now. But something my step-daddy always said to me stuck.

"Boy," he'd intone, his soft, gravely voice buried beneath the drawl of an Alabama coal miner's son, "don't you know it takes twice as long to do somethin' in half the time?"

It took me years to figure out, but when I see my own son rush around doing his own chores (and making a bigger mess), I often find myself wanting to say the same thing. Of course, my version would probably be more profane, less succinct, and not nearly as subtle.

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