It’s about quality over quantity
Most of know the fable about the tortoise and the hare, who had a race in which the hare was the favorite but ultimately it was the underdog who won simply by keeping on no matter what. In a race with unequal partners, it’s not how fast you are, but your dedication. I’d like to make a slightly different analogy today. It has to do with productivity.
What’s your approach to productivity?
The hare is the fast-paced multi-tasking approach to your day. If you’re the hare, you handle multiple projects at one time, jump from task to task, and just stay in a state of busyness all day long. At some point after all this activity, you probably need a nap, much like the hare in the race. You think you’ve accomplished a lot, but have you? Really?
If you’re a tortoise, you tend to stay focused on your priorities, doing one task at a time until you’ve finished it. You set aside times to focus on emails, maybe five minutes each hour to answer urgent questions. Another thing you do is take smaller breaks for yourself and your body to ensure that you’re getting enough energy to carry on with the day. It’s a slower pace, but you have confidence in your work.
Who’s really the winner?
Many industries want their employees to work fast, forgetting that with haste often comes mistakes or errors. It’s not about you winning a race, it’s about staying productive for the long haul. That fast pace which makes you feel like you’re getting ahead is just increasing the overall stress you have because you aren’t focusing on completion.
When it comes to productivity, maybe you need to think about the race between the tortoise and the hare. The race isn’t about you versus your competitor, but about you and doing your best. Slow down and breathe. It’s not the pace you keep, it’s how well you finish your tasks.