3 Ways To Pace Your Life Up To Become More Effective

                                               Photo by  toine Garnier  on  Unsplash

                                               Photo by toine Garnier on Unsplash

I can almost guarantee that I’m not doing things at the same pace you are. My quest for high pace is almost an obsession. I’m intolerant to waiting.

I hate waiting for simple things like a traffic light, public transit, the coffee machine, etc.

Having worked by how much I produced for a third of my life has taught me that the more — smarter work you do, the more you get. Every second count.

There are tons of great productivity tips out there to help you quickly elevate your productivity.

What I’m proposing here is changing some habits that will pace your life up forever.

Here are three habits that have greatly increased my productivity:


1. Walking Fast

I walk fast. Really fast. Almost like the guy below:

                                                     Photo credit:  Buzzfeed

                                                     Photo credit: Buzzfeed

What takes a normal person 30 minutes to reach, it takes me less than 20. I learn the shortcuts. I avoid red lights. I am efficient.

This all started when I was a kid working in strawberry fields. I was paid by productivity. Each filled basket I would return to the truck, I would get money for it. Now sometimes the truck was not very close. Sometimes it was a 3-minute walk just to get there.

That’s a lot of wasted time.

If we count going to and coming back, that’s 6 minutes where I was not getting paid for. Multiply that by at least 10 times during the day and there was a full hour lost!

Now if I would reduce the time it takes to reach the truck to 2 minutes, I would have another extra 20 minutes that other people don’t have. When you work by production, time really is money.

Similarly, when I was last in Toronto, I was walking to work. It took me 23 minutes. A normal person would take about 32 minutes. That meant that on average, I had an extra 18 minutes per day. There are many things you can do in 18 minutes. I recently started meditating. I do it for 20 minutes. It’s basically the amount of time I’m saving from walking fast.

Why Walk Fast?

I can’t prove this scientifically, but I believe walking fast teaches our brain to work at a different pace.

One observation I made over the last few years is that most people I know who walk fast and strategically are really productive people. Fast walkers understand the value of time, and it transfers that understanding to other areas, like work.

And of course, there are many health benefits to walking fast:

  • Raises your heart rate to a higher heart rate zone;
  • Increases fitness and endurance;
  • Increases muscle flexibility;
  • Tones muscles;
  • and more.

When To Walk Fast?

The idea is to do that when you are simply going from a point A to a point B.

If you walk to and from work, that’s the best time to power walk. Same with going to the grocery store, to the gym, etc. Any time there’s a destination in mind.

Keep your leisure walk at a speed you’re more comfortable with.


2. Listening To Audio At A Faster Playback Speed

I had tried this one a few times in the past and had a hard time sticking to it. If you listen to podcasts (you should), set the playback speed higher than 1x. Start with 1.25x or 1.5x, then gradually increase as you get more comfortable.

You can do the same with most online course platforms. I do it all the time on Coursera. Depending on the subject and teacher, 2x feels very natural to me currently.

How do you perceive the speed on this video of Barbara Oakley from the  Learning To Learn  course?

How do you perceive the speed on this video of Barbara Oakley from the Learning To Learn course?

This video, for me, is extremely slow.

How To Stick To It?

It’s so weird at first, but like every habit, you get used to it.

For me, I started getting more comfortable with the idea when I read Michael Simmons. In his teachings, he mentions how you can learn 2x faster using that technique.

He’s right. If you can comprehend the information at 2x the speed, you do learn 2x faster.

Once you’re used to it, 1x will feel very slow for you. It turns out that after a while, your brain gets used to it, and once it does, you learn and comprehend at a much faster speed than most people.


3. Not Waiting For Things When You Don’t Need To

Here are things you’re probably guilty of waiting for:

  • The coffee machine;
  • The toaster;
  • The microwave;
  • The elevator;
  • The bus;
  • and more.

These things all work on a “timer”, whether you see it or not.

Don’t wait in front of a coffee machine, toaster or microwave. Ever. If there’s someone around, chat with them, build a relationship. Make sure not to overly chat when the timer is over though. If there isn’t someone around, make sure you brought a productive distraction with you. Like a device to reply to emails or a book to read.

Unless you live on the 15th floor or above, just take the stairs. That may sound crazy to a lot of you, but waiting for the elevator takes so much times. On average, I arrive before or at the same time as someone who takes the elevator. And I’m talking about the 13th floor here. Sure I may be a little more sweaty, but I’m also healthier. Anything below 10 floors, unless the elevator is already on the ground floor, I’m always there before other people.

I’ve seen people wait 15 minutes for a bus for a 5-minute bus ride. Don’t do that. Take a walk. It will take about the same time (maybe less), but it will be less stressful, and you’ll get free exercise out of it.



Changing your walking speed is such an easy thing to do, yet it changes your health and perspective on time.

Try it the next time you have a destination in mind, and like any skill, do it consistently. Before you know it, you’ll be a fast walker!

Listening to audio at 2x speed doubles your learning speed. It’s weird at first, but once you understand the benefits, you’ll teach your brain to like it.

Not waiting for things when you don’t need to gives you back a few minutes of time, a few times a day, and sometimes even makes you healthier.

Build these 3 powerful habits. Combine their benefits. Don’t wait for the bus, power walk to your destination while listening to a podcast at 2x the speed. Realize that this makes you both healthier and smarter, with minimal effort.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/3-ways-to-pace-your-life-up-to-become-more-effective-c7330087e73a