In life, it seems some people are all go while some other slack behind. That some people are impatient and hot blooded while other calm and patient, some are fast some are slow, and a majority in between. You’ve also got night owls and early risers, one can’t get out of bed and drag in the morning, the other eyes drop past nightfall. Some talk more; some listen more, and are louder or quieter. You get the point.
The more I look the more it seems to me that most people operate at the same pace most of the time. To a point when their paces even define personalities.
There some stereotype like the fast impatient that is always driven but never has time for anything. Or you have the relaxed slow guys that takes his time don’t get stress but procrastinate and never get things done.
Attitude have their merits, one can be efficient in realising projects and bringing energy to the table, the other be good at dealing with people and keep a positive and relax state of mind.
Sometimes different situation requires different approaches, different timing, and different speed. Different problems require different solutions and different mind-sets.
So if we are stuck in one mode of operation, we can sometime get stuck. We can burn out and tire or not be able to get anything done, fall into the traps of the “too fast too soon” or the “too little too late”.
What I call pacing or the pace you are operating at a given moment is therefore deeply related and intertwined with time and energy.
The faster you act (if efficient and directed) the less time it will take for the completion of a project. But usually the faster you act the more focus and intense you need to be, and the more is the amount of energy you expand. If you act slower things might take longer but you might not tier out as much.
So as you can see, a pace can be more than just a state of might or a habit, but a decision between time and energy expenditure.
Time/energy = completion of project in unit of time.
(Money or maters are voluntarily left out of the equation for this purpose. So as efficiency and purpose)
Knowing that, do you want to be the victim of you pace or do you want to choose, when you want a little more time or a little more energy? Can we choose to adopt a right attitude and approach to a task?
How can we find more balance and adaptability? How can we change to the situation rather than to try to change the situation to us? How do we regulate our pace?
Let’s first try and define the characteristics of the two main paces, fast and slow:
-usually faster heart rate
-rapid thinking and communicating
-sustainability dependent on the level of intensity
-High achievement potential
-risk of unrest and impatience
-risk of burn out
-repetition, system and organisation
-low heart rate and blood pressure
-low level of exertion or forced pace from exhaustion
-slower thoughts (doesn’t mean les quality)
-patient and considerate
-risks of depression
-risks of no achievement
-risks of none caring
-following the pace of non-action or least action
Obviously a moderate pace is in-between, having mixed traits of both or be objectively neutral. It is important to note that a paces is always individual, the fast of someone, is the slow of someone else. To take an absurd example, you wouldn’t expect a child to run at the same speed as a sprint athlete.
So pace in a domain is dependent on:
-your skill in the domain
-your level of physical or mental fitness
-your level of concentration or distraction
-Needs, objectives, pressure, mental projections
-tools and resources available
-organisation, optimisation and systems
I’ll go back to those is turn.
Skill: As you learn a new skill, be it physical or mental, it takes time for your body or your mind to adapt. At first more often than not your coordination is poor, your thought process is wrong; you haven’t learnt to focus on the right things. Your muscle memory and your neuroplasticity are not yet adapted to the task. Your body and mind need to become more efficient and this process of learning, remembering and also changing anatomically is tiring, and will produce fairly inefficient results. It is a game of trial and error.
However learning is good for you. The more you practice a task, the easier and efficient it becomes and the less tiring it is for you.
Fitness: Pretty self-explanatory, being fit in your body and mind means having the capacity to perform a task. The greater the fitness, the harder the tasks or the more efficiency can be accomplished. If your fitness baseline is strong, physically, mentally, emotionally, the more adaptable and applicable it is to a wide range of activities, facilitating learning as well.
Your level of energy is directly link to how you feel, think (what you thing is achievable) and view the world. Hence your state of mind and your level of fitness are more closely related that you might think. Studies have shown that a physical activity alone can cure cases of depression.
Your mind-set: You mind-set is a primary factor of how you view the world and what is you role in it. Your mind-set influence how you do things a lot. Do you want to be there, doing that? Are you free to do it or do you have to? Is it directly beneficial to you? Are you doing it for yourself or someone else? Are you feeling positive or negative about it? Are you limited in time? Are you feeling tiered or energised, patient or impatient? Are you hungry, bothered, in pain, preoccupied, fearful, anxious, confident? All those factors determine how you view the importance and the prospected enjoyment of the tasks. The more important and enjoyable it is to YOU, the easier you will find to perform
Distraction and focus: As I just mention if you are focus on other things, or multiple things at once, it is difficult for your mind to apply its maximum capacity. You will be therefore less efficient than you can be. There is an infinite number of distraction from, need or physical well-being (sleep, food, pain), emotion (social interaction, reaction to events, mental interpretations, etc.), security, objectives (at home, work, finances, self-development, etc.)
Sometimes your conscious mind is not even aware of it. And you cannot think straight without knowing why.
Needs objectives etc.: How much value to you put on what you are doing right now? Need is a powerful stimulant for efficiency and creativity. If you are starving you will put much more focus and effort trying to find food. If someone is pointing a gun to your head, that your life dependent on the completion of a task, you would perform to the best that you could. The way you judge how much you need what you need to do the better you will do it. Turn your objectives into needs. Create accountability, if the pressure is just right it will stir you in the right direction, however too much will do the opposite effect.
Tools and resources available: Every job or tasks have prerequisites.
The availability with which you have what you need to perform determines how performing you can be. The better the tool and the more available the resource the faster the task can be. You are usually limited to the speed of the tool that you are using if you have mastered it; the shovel or the digger, the encyclopaedia or Google, etc.
-organisation, optimisation and systems: Organisation helps you optimise your action into a system that makes performing a task simple and straightforward. This process comes from experience (your own or that of others), trials and error, and helps to save resources by doing more efficiently. Most things that one does can be optimised in order to create more results for less effort. A good way to improve your life condition is to organise it to optimisation. There is the obvious risk of becoming obsessive and neglecting emotional input. If the resources require in the organisation process are greater that the resources saved from creating that system, and then the organisation is pointless, wrong, or even detrimental.
Organisation often starts by asking the right open questions like: how can I make this faster? Can it be more efficient? What is my motivation or incentive?
Why am I doing that right now? (see power of purpose). Is there a way I can save time, money, energy? Is there a better way of doing this? Does this have to be difficult?
Now that you are familiar with the idea of pace, and how it is affected, let’s look at some techniques to be able to influence it, mainly either slowing down and relax, or speeding up and get excited:
Techniques to get into pace:
-State of mind arousal
-focus concentration present moment visulasation
-rationalisation, asking the right question
-Mind-set let it happen letting the tool do it
-acceptation (take a break, or push through)
-Binding paces, anchoring
-in the zone or the state of flow
Priming: Priming is the way you are conditioned prior to an experience by other factors independent of that experience. The way you first start to do something will greatly influence how you experience it and perform it.