The way to be more efficient? Slow down.

When put under pressure of tight deadlines, there are two choices, increase haste, or reduce mistakes. The latter usually requires working slower, making sure not a single movement is wasted, taking extra time to look around and making everything is ready for the next step. However, haste is what comes naturally.

I practice slowing down under pressure, and increasing my focus. As it turns out, 85% of my normal pace with no wasted movement is much faster than 150% with tons of redos.

For years, I heard about 10X (ten-ex, as in ten times faster) programmers and 10X marketers (as in 10X the returns). Seth Godin put it eloquently in the 10X Lesson, a while back, a 10X anything doesn’t do it by outworking, 10 x 8 = 80 hours a day. Not possible. They do it with efficiency and intelligence. That’s what I’m promoting here, under more pressure, increased efficiency through intelligence is necessary, and intelligence shouldn’t be rushed.

Make it a habit to calm down under pressure, and work slower, it’s counterintuitive, yet powerful. And after the pressure drops, brainstorm a relief valve that will prevent the pressure from ever rising that high again.