We live in a culture that is addicted to speed. We eat fast, talk fast, work fast as we try to cram more and more in the day. And this is having dire consequences on our lives at home and at work.
Why have we caught this disease called ‘speed’? Why are we doing everything faster in the name of good customer service? And why have we peddled the idea that speed of service is the performance criteria by which customers judge us. Has anyone stopped to ask, “Do customers really want fast service? Or do they want good, attentive, thorough service?”
If your business is running on speed, it is not sustainable. In the short term you will get results, but over the medium to long term, the bubble will burst. You and your team will get stressed and tired; absenteeism will rise. And that’s when you start seeing productivity drop AND worse still, you will start to lose good people.
9 signs you are addicted to the stress of SPEED:
Do you experience 3 or more of the following symptoms?
- You find it difficult to sit and do nothing for more than 10 minutes.
- You find it difficult to focus and listen to what the other person is saying.
- You eat at your desk or in your car and get indigestion.
- Poor concentration and irritability.
- You need alcohol to relax and constantly crave carbs/sweets.
- You rely on coffee for energy.
- You suffer from intermittent insomnia.
- You find it difficult to notice beauty around you. Or you are numb to it.
- Loss of creativity and passion.
Business consequences of speed:
- Hurried consultations with no real customer connection.
- Inability to really listen to your customer.
- Higher error rates.
- Irate customers from regular misunderstandings.
- Lower performance.
12 Excellent Strategies for Slowing Down
- Don’t schedule in more than two meetings per day.
- Unless you are a mortgage broker, don’t schedule any meetings after 3pm It is the most unproductive time of day and also the time of day where most misunderstandings and conflicts occur.
- Don’t pick up your second line (or call waiting) when you are already on a phone call.
- Don’t rush your meetings or phone calls. Take your time and ensure that you understand the other person.
- Turn notifications and pop-ups OFF, on all your devices. They train your mind to live out of the present moment and therefore make it difficult for you connect and listen to others.
- Take at least 2 renewal breaks throughout the day to stretch, breath and meditate for 5 minutes.
- Don’t take on too much work. Learn to say ‘no’.
- Don’t rush individual tasks. Enjoy doing them to the best of your ability knowing and reminding yourself that the quality of your work affects the customer.
- Don’t accept any last minute deadlines imposed on you. Last-minute deadlines usually arise from somebody else’s inefficiency. It is somebody else’s problem. Don’t make it yours unless it is truly a rare exception requiring you to go beyond the call of duty.
- Take at least 45 minutes for lunch and pack from home at least three days in the week. You will get more nutrition and you will save money.
- Take a walk after work, preferably where there is a park or trees. Go alone.
- Keep a photo on your desk and look at it throughout the day. It could be a photo of your partner, your children or a picture of your next holiday destination.
- Sleep more.
If you’re interested in reading more about the dangers of speed I highly recommend the books,
“In Praise of Slow” and “The Slow Fix”, both by Carl Honore.
Sam Makhoul, Managing Director and Chief Wellness Officer @ MSA National.
Join us at Upgrade Your Life 2019 to learn how to slow down.