Work Slower. Achieve Faster.
The average Brit puts in more than 10 hours a week of overtime on top of the average working week now which is 42.5 putting us over the European average of 41!
It is obvious now the modern mindset is that everything needs to be completed by yesterday, but inevitably this has a negative effect on quality.
Always doing things in a rush can lead us to make mistakes that we label as sloppy. We may not read an email properly or half listen to an instruction whilst our minds are thinking about what to say or do next, trying to get ahead of ourselves constantly causing misunderstandings to occur.
Some tasks can be done quickly, yes but there are many that require clarity of mind and more thinking time.
We could do with addressing the way we communicate in our speed-obsessed work culture and learn a thing or two to take into our personal lives too. Why always ping a hurried email and expect an immediate response, when you can tap into slow communication and save yourself the explanation further down the line by speaking in person or jumping on a quick zoom or google hangouts. You can form a closer rapport this way because you observe their body language, vocal tone and facial expressions. Taking the time to discuss things also builds credibility and trust.
Why not establish a new approach….. Each morning sit down and do nothing for a while – a form of meditation as simple as this, away from technology, alone with your thoughts with zero distractions is something we rarely ever do. Or take a short walk and think about the day ahead. Prioritise what’s important, and let pointless tasks go. Ask yourself ‘Will this serve me?’ You cannot do everything at once and have it done in one day.
With less to do, you will feel less time pressure and you will work to a better standard. Don’t be too ambitious in the tasks you set out to do. At the end of the day write a to-do list for the next day and celebrate what you accomplished by listing what you completed. This helps you organise your thoughts and allows you to switch off to enjoy your evening.
You’re already hopefully planning your un-plugging hours away from your laptop and your phone, but apply a similar rule when working. Some people only read and reply to emails at set times during the day and even block these out in their calendars. They manage people’s expectations by saying this in their email signature.
This is helpful as it allows you to focus on one thing at a time… I do not care how much of a multitasker you are this is KEY. Switching from task to task takes cognitive effort and diverts attention. Rather than making you more efficient, it can actually add a couple of hours to your working day!
Studies have shown British employees waste an hour a day reading, old messages, needlessly checking for updates between other tasks and sending emails when it would have been easier to speak to them in person.
Want proof that less is more? When Microsoft offices implemented the 4 day working week, they saw a 40% increase in productivity levels.
Sometimes we all need to meet challenging deadlines, but it’s also about avoiding the urge to always work fast and change the pace.