Do You Work Too Slow?

Stress Management

Do You Work Too Slow?

Are you convinced that everyone works faster than you?

Do you secretly fear that it takes you longer than everyone else to write a report, draft a PowerPoint presentation, or analyze last week’s sales numbers?

Are you afraid there might be something wrong with you?

I’ve got some news for you:

There isn’t.

The “I work too slow” belief crops up very often in my work and here is what I am convinced is true:

The only thing you have that “faster people” don’t is the belief that you are moving too slow.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

This belief is guaranteed to undermine any effort you have to being more efficient or feeling more caught up.

In fact it is one of the biggest obstacles standing in your way.

Improving your time management skills and systems can help. Learning how to plan out your day and protect your time is critical.

But nothing you learn can counter the impact this belief has on your productivity or ability to feel in control.

Here’s why.

When you believe you are too slow you:

  • Will attempt to squeeze far more into your days than what is possible or sustainable – always leaving you feeling behind
  • Rarely negotiate deadlines or protect your time from interruptions at work because you are in ‘pleaser mode’ (and already worried people are displeased by your pace)
  • Will continue to set your own unrealistic deadlines in an effort to speed yourself up (this one will almost always backfire)
  • Have an extra hard time saying ‘No’ because you don’t want people to think you are behind
  • Will steadily drive yourself to burnout – leaving you with little joy for your work or energy during your time off.
When you believe you are too slow you

Here are 3 strategies that can counteract the impact of this belief:

  1. Be aware. Being aware of when this belief shows up can bring monumental (yet subtle) shifts to your standard mode of operating.

The key is to not judge yourself when you notice this pattern. There is no need to change anything. The power of this practice is in the awareness alone.

  1. Clarify your capacity. It is time to get real about what you really can accomplish in a day. A great step-by-step guide to this process can be found here.

When you repeatedly ask yourself to do more than what is possible you undermine your ability to trust yourself to follow through on promises.

  1. Adjust your expectations and give yourself permission to do less. Let it be OK that you can’t do it all today. No one can.

If you refuse to adjust your expectations and instead take the approach of berating yourself to be faster and more efficient at your work – know that you will never get there.

That kind of pressure will undermine any effort you take to becoming more efficient.

Instead try letting your pace be OK. Trust that this is how you work best.

Ironically, that is the path to more efficiency:

Letting you be you.

Can you let yourself work at your own pace? What impact does your beliefs have on your own productivity?

Be sure to share your comments below.

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