How to work in a fast-paced team
No matter the nature of your work, a fast-paced environment can sometimes be overwhelming. Especially when deadlines are close and you feel as if the walls are closing in on you. But there are some key skills you can develop to not only survive a fast-paced office or team, but to excel in one!
Understand the key functions of your role and your co-workers roles
When you have clarity around your teams functionality, there is less chance of responsibilities floating aimlessly around the group or over-flowing on someone’s to-do list even though it’s not their job… When something arises that seems almost impossible to get done in time, look around and reflect on what everyone is up to, how full their plates are, if the task can be shared or taken over by someone else with more time. Teams are in place to support companies, but they are also there to support each other. Don’t try to take on everything yourself and use teamwork to your advantage. Teamwork is an excellent skill to improve productivity and help work towards a common goal without loading the stress onto on singular person.
Think ahead and plan accordingly
The key skills you need here are foresight, time management, prioritisation and organisation. It can seem like I’m attaching a lot of skills to one point here, but these skills usually work very well together and once developing one of them the others will naturally begin to take place. In a hectic workplace, thinking ahead is key. If that means having spreadsheets, calendars and timelines open for you to check each day, so be it. You can reduce a lot of stress and anxiety by knowing what has to be done by when and having a plan in advance of when you are going to work on what.
Multi-tasking is not an easy skill and there are some people who believe they might not even be capable of it. But it is very possible to train yourself to multi-task. Usually it works best when two tasks are related to each other.
If you’re struggling, tell someone! Don’t hide away and hope for the best. We can head back to our first point and remember we are working within a team and our team can help support us if we just let them know we need the help. Don’t worry, you will have plenty of opportunity to return the favour.
Don’t forget to take breaks
It can sometime be difficult to slow down and take a break, especially if you have gotten so into the zone. Sometimes working through when you have the motivation will work, and we don’t recommend breaking out of a productive flow. But after that flow, take a break! Rest yourself and make sure not to burn out. Tired people will make mistakes and get stressed easily. On the other hand, if you just can’t seem to get motivated to do more than thirty minutes of work at a time, that’s fine too. Take breaks and recalibrate. Check your to-do list and try to prioritise your tasks before getting back to them.
Identify any need for training
If you feel like you’re lacking in technical skills and believe this is holding you back, then make note and take action. Online training or after-hours workshops and classes are available for many technological specialities. Often, if you discuss the need for these skills with your employer, they may fund your development. At the very least, they will be supportive and encouraging. When you have the adequate skill set technically, you will naturally speed up processes that took you extra time to do before.
Work with confidence
Try not to encompass self-doubt. Instead, work with confidence and with the attitude that you can do anything you set your mind to. If you feel more confident about your abilities you will tend to feel more motivated and your focus may sharpen. If you do struggle with self-confidence, you can check out our infographic about imposter syndrome and how to overcome it!
If you panic, have a small library of breathing exercises
If you’re someone who can gets into a panic mode when things go to fast, learn several breathing exercises and use them! It can be so helpful to help not only your heart rate steady, but to slow your mind down and help to re-focus instead of being a busy mess who is likely to make mistakes.