Embrace working at your own pace

There is an old proverb that says, “It’s better to take many small steps in the right direction than to take a big leap in the wrong direction, only to stumble backward.”

This thought applies especially well to the idea of working at your own pace. Society teaches us that we should all be working at a similar pace in order to reach our goals, but every human is unique. Therefore, we all have different ways we approach our planning, decision-making, problem-solving, research and productivity.

Forcing ourselves into situations we don’t feel ready for, or to complete projects to unrealistic deadlines can sometimes end up inhibiting our growth rather than supporting it.

In recent years the concept of ‘self-paced education’ has become popular and we can take some insights from this to support the idea of working at your own pace.

Self-paced education is defined by the ability of learners to decide on the pace and timing of their learning experience. This allows for optimal flexibility to incorporate their coursework into their different lives and schedules. By blending traditional face-to-face learning with a variety of online and digital methods, learners are encouraged to use the tools that work best for them.

The same can apply to self-paced work. With so many digital tools available to tailor our work environment, we can find the ones that work for us and use them to create our own system, spending more time on things that we find challenging and breezing through the things we are good at – thus minimising wasted time and maximising efficiency.

Self-paced work may not be suitable for everyone though. For some people, structure and personal management help to provide motivation and limit procrastination.

The Covid-19 pandemic and associated work-from-home move has certainly highlighted how working at your own pace can be beneficial, with many remote workers thriving as they become more independent and confident in their own self-paced working style.

There’s no doubt that, as technology continues to make remote work, freelance work and contract work simpler and more accessible to all people, that we will continue to adapt and create work-from-home systems that make the most of our strengths and support our growth to become more balanced workers.

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