Speed Matters

Systems which eat items quickly are fed more items. Slow systems starve.

Working quickly is important: you'll finish more stuff per unit time.

If you work quickly, the cost of doing something new also seems lower in your mind.

This makes you inclined to do more.

Examples of this:

  • Sending emails: if you respond quickly, people send more emails because they expect a fast response, the projected cost of the exchange is low
  • Web search: Google prioritized speed as a feature, no delay between thought and action, encourages you to search
  • Work: faster employees get assigned more work
  • Business: Customers find out you're slow, go to other business

What does that mean for you?

If you're starting any task, the activation energy required comes how much effort you believe it'll take in your head. If it feels costly, you'll need a bigger expenditure.

If you're slow in completing a task, this additional cost accrues, when you think of doing that task again, you see the cost, and you bail.

So push yourself to go faster than you think is healthy, so that the task will cost less in your mind, it'll have lower activation energy, and you'll do it more.

As you do it more (deliberately), you'll get better.

Then, you'll be both fast and good.

So, speed matters.