I’m an introvert. I talk slowly. I work slowly. I even read slowly. I wander. I daydream. And I often spend about as much time thinking about a task as I do actually doing it. I’m not saying all of these qualities are directly linked to introversion, but from what I’ve read, many introverts take a similar slow and steady approach to life.
Because of the way introverts process information, we tend to need time to think before we speak. In other words, we speak more slowly than our extroverted counterparts. We might also execute other tasks more slowly. We’re not innate multitaskers. Instead, we prefer to tackle one task at a time, in a slow, but focused manner. In the age of fast-paced environments and faster talkers, our tendency towards slow and steady can be seen as a disadvantage. But is it, really?
I’ve already discussed the advantage of speaking slowly in my post about the introvert advantage in conversation. To summarize, speaking slowly can make you appear more confident and intelligent. It also gives people time to absorb what you are saying.
What about working slowly? Are there advantages to executing projects slowly and methodically, while others seem to speed through many tasks at once? The short answer is YES. Read on for the longer answer.
According to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, “we tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently.”
Essentially, Rubin is saying that in the long run, it is consistency – not speed – that will lead to accomplishing more. Work slowly and consistently. That is the key to long-term success.
Author Anthony Trollope further explains:
“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.”
So, who would you rather be? The spasmodic Hercules who works quickly, but never actually crosses the finish line, or the wise turtle that takes his time, but eventually wins the race?