Speed Sparks Extra Work

Mom had a saying, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”  Translated from her Pennsylvania Dutch expression, she was saying another maxim: haste makes waste.

Today as flames of burnout and exhaustion circle the globe, extra work is NOT the thing we all need. Yes, we are working more. A PwC survey in June found that 44% of employers felt employees were more productive at home during this pandemic vs 31% who felt they were less productive and 25% who felt the work output was roughly the same.

But exactly what IS that work. From conversations with clients and colleagues, I pick up anxiety that is pushing employees to do more faster and faster. Alas, being productive does not always equate to quality work. In fact, speed and the myth of multitasking lead to rework which, frankly, is a waste of precious time and energy.

I know. I am guilty of being a speed demon, of moving too fast and then paying the price for error.

Take AAA batteries as a simple example.

My trackpad for the iMac stopped working. I went to the drawer for spare batteries and pulled out two only to discover they were the wrong size. I needed AA batteries. Instead, I had a drawer full of AAA.  Help!  How did that happen?

I jumped in the car and sped (see- too fast) down to Costco. I barely made it through a green light and whirled into the parking lot. How could I have been so stupid? I don’t think I even have any items that need AAA batteries.

Then, pushing my cart down the aisle I saw my mistake.  In my haste to get through Costco and back to work a few weeks ago, I grabbed the batteries that were on an endcap. Yep: AAA.  But I never slowed down enough to look at what I picked up.

That trip took almost an hour out of my day.  It was a lesson I needed.

It made me think of something Mom also said: “when you slow down, you go faster.”

It’s a lesson I think I must post where I can see it.  How about you?

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