Speed seems to be the mandate these days. Yet “go slow to go fast” is a key phrase to keep in mind when focusing on productivity and managing personal energy. It’s all about perspective.
We live in an age of hyper connectivity with soundbites that compete for our attention at a deafening roar. The walls of our organizations are more porous than ever as information from anywhere, about us or our organization, can go viral globally within minutes.
All these factors compete for our attention to speed up and react, act, make decisions in a nanosecond. Sometimes this feels like things are out of control and we may react without the proper human processing and communication time we need.
You are the variable that needs to manage the pressure, speed and technology.
In graduate school I took a measurement class and my teacher always used to say, “the numbers know not what they say.” You can interpret and position the numbers however you want to.
So too, technology knows not what it speeds. It enables you to do many things: send emails anytime of day or night, be almost anywhere and talk on your cell phone, send packages overnight around the world. The control lies with you, in how you manage it, while keeping your objectives clearly in mind.
Pausing, breathing, listening, and paying attention may feel like you are moving more slowly – because you are! You may spend a few more minutes in the shortrun – but this can free you up and ensures you are going in the right direction, at the right time, and in the right way. This enables you to speed up in the long run, considering the bigger picture.
Key questions to consider:
- To what end or purpose is a particular technology – how does it serve you?
- What is the expectation that you have for others to respond?
- What expectation do others have of you for responding? Is this reasonable? Do you need to reset the expectation?
- What is your perception of the “need to” respond? What reality/facts – is this based on?
- What do you need to effectively process information? Does it vary depending upon the nature of the issue at hand?
- What is the balance point between what kind of time you need to respond and what your sender expects?
- What is the quality, complexity and depth of decision-making required for the issue at hand?
Some of the answers to the above questions may require you to:
- Strengthen and speed your capacity.
- Challenge your mindset and assumption around what you HAVE to do and WHEN.
- Challenge, educate, or negotiate with colleagues around their expectations for a response time.
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