Go Slow to Go Smart

As we energetically lean forward into the new year with fresh goals and to-do lists, it’s a good time to also slow down. Overdoing it on work pace is a recurring temptation that doesn’t deliver. In fact, one reason my clients value their coaching sessions is because they provide a legitimate excuse and safe place to step off the efficiency treadmill to do some valuable work that requires a slower, more thoughtful pace.

Whether it’s due to our hardwired nature, pressure from colleagues, difficulty saying no, client deadlines, or all of the above, we often show up to our work assuming that maximum speed is good. But maximum productivity isn’t achieved at maximum speed. Going pedal to the metal entails unseen opportunity costs, such as overlooking a better solution to a problem, a colleague’s great idea, chances to learn or teach or to strengthen a relationship.

To move toward your own optimal pace, look at the possible benefits listed below. Do you see something you inadvertently sacrifice in the name of efficiency that is especially valuable? And are you willing to try to slow down and make room for it? Slowing down may entail a one-time experiment or a repeatable daily or weekly ritual. In just a few (slower, intentional) minutes, you could cultivate one of these important work attributes for a rewarding return on your time.

• Strategic thinking
• Quality/Accuracy
• Creativity
• Collaboration
• Mentoring/teaching
• Learning
• Relationships
• Showing appreciation