Take Your Time: How Patience Can Lead to Better Results

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In a world geared for speed and increased efficiency, there is no shortage of productivity techniques and tools to help us save time and complete more tasks each day. However, despite access to infinite technologies and methods to conserve time (e.g., cars, email, virtual meetings, etc.), we do not have much control over how our time plays out. Having an extensive workload and a perceived lack of control can quickly lead to feeling burned out. Completing work in a timely manner is important but focusing our attention on a “quality over quantity” approach can help eliminate stress and improve work performance.

No matter how efficient we become, there will still be a discrepancy between what we can accomplish within a day and the amount of time we have to accomplish it. When we lose our ability to control the way our time is spent, our natural inclination is to become overwhelmed. In fact, a Deloitte survey reported that 91% of people say that unmanageable stress impacts the quality of their work. Moreover, 64% of respondents said that although they feel passionate about their jobs, they still feel frequent frustration at work.

So, how can we avoid feelings of stress and frustration while still being efficient?

A great first step is accepting that for the best results, specific actions operate according to their own schedule. Take writing as an example. Although the temptation might be to plow through as many pieces as possible to check items off the to-do list, good writing just takes time. The same applies to reading a book, developing a business idea, or spending meaningful time with family.

Enjoying the experience of doing a task, rather than worrying strictly about its completion, will help you develop better solutions and improve the quality of the finished product. Over time, making a habit of this practice can make you a better writer, financial analyst, management consultant, teacher, etc.

While social, cultural, and economic developments demand us to work faster and accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, building patience and allowing yourself to spend more time on a task can grant a competitive edge. Giving yourself time to develop better solutions to problems will ensure the end product is of better quality, leading to happier clients and alleviating the stress of over-focusing on efficiency. It may be uncomfortable at first but surrendering to the speed of reality and engaging with your work in this way can improve its quality and your ownership of it.

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