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Learning to Slow Down and Speed Up

Nobody likes to admit they need to slow down at work. It is counter to everything you are ever taught about work. You shouldn’t ever work slower because there is no way that working slower is going to get more done. In fact, you should be both quick and accurate. Great! Perfect world theory: everyone can attain this standard! Real world theory: most people who think they can do this are hilariously wrong.

That being said, I came from an environment where working quickly was alright (and mistakes were quickly forgiven) and moved to an environment where mistakes are to be avoided and I should be more methodical. I can accept that. When you increase the number of employees you are responsible for by tenfold and you are new to a job, that makes sense. I need to slow down.

Here’s what I’ve found out though: sometimes being methodical and working slowly doesn’t always ensure success. In fact, sometimes it is just a waste of time.

To me, it is all about process. Smart processes that speed things up while eliminating the chance of human error. Whenever I do an audit (even of my own stuff), it is easy in the heat of the moment to skip a step or two when you don’t have a process that keeps you on track and on schedule. And really, whenever you are writing a process or procedure for something, you should really be focusing on the goal of eliminating human error and speeding the entire process up. Consistency and efficiency are a side effect of doing those two things. And while they may feel one in the same, when you are writing processes, thinking about it from this point of view is actually better than just thinking a process will make everything more consistent.

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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