You’ve probably lost count on how many times you’ve heard that to be productive you need to focus for longer, and eliminate distractions. The internet is bursting with tips, tricks and hacks on how to reduce the distractions in your life, from to do lists, encouraging yoga practice, exercising before work, and becoming a morning person.
These strategies might work for some people, but for others it might cause more stress and the endless to do lists and post it notes may be a complete waste of energy.
It’s important to acknowledge what our ‘personal pace’ is, and figure out what works for us. So, are you “fast-paced”?
What does “fast-paced” mean?
Those who are ‘fast-paced’ tend to have limited attention spans and prefer to work in shorter blocks and bursts. They value punctuality and access less emails, more often. When these people are given three tasks, they prefer to work on the first task, then swap and move onto the next, and continuously jump between tasks until they’re all complete.
How do I know if I’m fast-paced?
Do you like being active in your leisure time and walk fast even if you’re not in a hurry? Does the above sound like your personality and work life? Then chances are, you are fast-paced.
What should I do if I am fast-paced?
To sustain high performance and productivity levels while being fast-paced, it’s important to decrease your perceived effort levels and create (productive) opportunities to be distracted by. If you feel like you’re working really hard, chances are your performance levels aren’t at the potential they could be at, and you’re forcing yourself into working at an unnatural personal pace, which could be leading to burnout down the track.
To increase your performance levels whilst decreasing effort, ensure your schedule is working in alignment with your fast-paced nature and take advantage of your peak energy levels throughout the day.
You should embrace distractions so you can thrive in short bursts, breaking the idea that concentrating for long periods of time means you’re actually being productive.
Here are some tips for you fast-paced workers:
- Focus on working at your personal pace – if you can concentrate for 15 minutes, work on tasks for that period before switching to something else and come back to that task later. If you try push yourself and focus for longer, the task will end up taking you longer than it should and will consume your energy and time which could have been used in another area.
- Take control of your email access. Switch off the email alert button and elect to access your emails every 15 – 30 minutes. When in your emails, firstly remove anything that doesn’t require your attention or action. Then prioritise the remainder of the items and add them to your to do list, and jump between them.
- Limit your meeting times, so you can move on to the next task. 15 – 30 minutes where possible. You’ll be surprised by how much can get done in that time, at a productive level.
- Embrace being productive. A big belief fast-paced people have is that they aren’t in fact productive, because they’re always switching between tasks. Once you embrace it, you’ll find it easier to restructure your day and find more time, leading to a happier, healthier life.