Recently, I was in a hurry on the way to work and got pulled over for speeding. When the officer asked me why I was speeding, I told him the truth that I was running late getting to the office for meetings and my parting gift was a well-deserved speeding ticket.
Afterwards, I was thinking about how speeding absolutely did not get me to the office any faster. In fact, I probably would have reached the office about 10 minutes sooner (and saved myself $150) had I not been speeding. How often does that happen to us at work? We hurry, hurry, hurry to get something done. But what does that hurrying sometimes cost us? Mistakes, rework, risk, money, time, frustration, stress, ethical missteps…the list could go on and on.
Questions to ask
There is no getting away from that sometimes, we will have to hurry faster than we would like because the sense of urgency is so high. However, and this may seem counterintuitive, often when we feel like hurrying the right response is to SLOW DOWN and ask yourself the following questions:
Do I really need to hurry?
Sometimes, the need to hurry is falsely inflicted—by ourselves and others. Were you given an unrealistic deadline? Can you ask for more time? Are you making the task more important than it really is? Are you prioritizing correctly?
What potential risks/gaps may occur by hurrying?
If you rush this, what might be the cost to you or the organization?
Do I need to finish the whole task I’ve been given to do right now or could I do a piece of it now and the rest of it later?
Some tasks can be done in phases. Will breaking your task up into phases reduce the desire to hurry?
Give yourself permission to slow down and think. It might just get you to your destination sooner and cost you less in the long-run.