My daughter started kindergarten a few months ago, and I usually take her to school in the morning. Most mornings we make it school just in time. I feel like I have to constantly keep my daughter focused and moving in the morning so we can make it. I started saying, “Put your hurry pants on,” which seems to work in getting my daughter to go faster. But upon reflection, I decided I didn’t want my daughter to hurry, but I did want her to move quickly. There’s a difference, but it’s a fine line between the two. My approach to my work is the same: I want to work quickly but I do not want to hurry.
There’s a famous quote by well-known basketball coach John Wooden, “Be quick but don’t hurry.” What’s the difference between being quick and hurrying?
Working quickly is about efficiency. Getting things done the fastest way possible without compromising quality or service. There are many things that can be done to improve efficiency in a business, from developing a better system to additional training for your team.
Hurrying is when you prioritize speed over quality. It causes you to cut corners and take more risks. Sending a design to print without seeing a proof. Launching a website without testing all the pages. Dispatching a technician to do a job without checking to make sure all the parts have arrived.
The underlying motivation of hurrying is fear. Fear of disappointing a customer or your boss. Fear that you are not good enough. Fear that the kindergarten teacher will think you aren’t a good parent.
When you hurry you are deceiving yourself and others. Hurrying is a false promise that it’s possible to do things faster without compromising quality. Many times you can be faster and still get the job done, but you can’t keep going faster indefinitely. At a certain point you risk quality. That point is the line between working quickly and hurrying.
Are you working quickly or are you hurrying?