Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash. This article is originally published on on 7 Mar 2021.

Have you ever been in a situation where you cannot tell which is more important -- Quality or Quantity? Or, have you felt that you never fulfil quality nor quantity on your tasks?

I have. In many situations, including but not limited to college tasks, freelance work, and blog posts. But I've never been happy with choosing one of the other simply because sometimes you need both quality and quantity.

So how can we overcome this contradiction?

As you can see in the title, focusing on speed rather than quality or quantity would be the solution.

In the former section of this article, you'll know why SPEED is more important than quality or quantity. In the latter section, you'll see 3 concrete tips to speed up.

Speed is the key

Why SPEED is the key?

If we have your own strategy to speed up your tasks, then we'll be able to change your focus on quality or quantity easily depending on the requirements.

Although we often hear the Quality vs Quantity debate, it's not that straight forward in a real-life. For instance, your team may tend to value quality over quantity, but one of your bosses might think highly of quantity rather than quality. The same is applicable to clients. We are required to be flexible.

Moreover, if you are a junior developer who does not have experience in the industry, you might find yourself lack of skills to fulfil neither quality nor quantity.

But what if we have our own strategy to complete tasks faster?

If we can focus on speed, that means we'll be able to complete a task faster than we used to be. After completion, we'll be able to ask what they are looking for further from us, either quality or quantity. Because you now have extra time, you'll be able to improve it further as required.

This is the main goodness of focusing on SPEED.

speed up

How to SPEED UP?

There are three easiest principles to improve the speed of your tasks. Provide answer right away, Start right away and Put forward earlier.

We may think that it is not easy. But for us, these three ways are the easiest ones to achieve higher speed on tasks since it does not require skills but just mindset.

Moreover, they are the only ways to be faster than our counterparts who are more experienced than us. They can for sure complete tasks earlier than us if we start at the same time on a task.

Provide answer right away, Start right away and Put forward earlier. These principles can be the best way to achieve a higher speed on tasks.

1. Provide an answer right away

By answering right away, we'll be able to remove obstacles as early stage as possible.

In many situations, you might feel you need several hours to give some answer. But such a slight delay can get bigger. Even if that's not the case, these delays do not give a positive impression to the person who is waiting for your answer.

The good news is that it can be eliminated easily by answering right away and tell them what your concern exactly is.

For instance, imagine you are asked if you want to work on certain tasks or project. But you are not sure if you have the required skills for it.

Even though you may feel you need some time to give an answer, tell them right away some kind of answers. It could be letting them know the date you can give the final answer, or telling them that you want to do it but you are not sure with certain skills.

The point is to share your circumstances and ask for help as early as possible.

By doing so, your boss or client can provide you with support as early as possible and you don't need to waste your time considering on your own.

2. Start right away

If we start working on a task on the day we were asked to do it, we have a chance to be able to complete it faster than our experienced counterpart.

In other words, we will not be able to reach a higher standard in quality nor quantity if we don't start working on it earlier.

This might seem very simple and obvious, but many people, including me, tend to underestimate the power of starting early ending up procrastinate.

Start working on the task on the day you are asked to do it, regardless of the deadline. If we could manage to start working on the tasks earlier, then we can be faster. It's that simple.

Which is better for your client and team member?

3. Put forward earlier

By putting forward earlier, you'll have a chance to ask for feedback if you should brush up on quality or quantity by the actual deadline. This mindset is vital to have if we are newbies in the field.

Have you ever had this experience -- looking back at your own work that you have spent a long, long time to achieve higher quality, but when you look at it now, the quality is shite? Or you thought you did very well on assessment but it turns out not as good as you expected?

Because we don't have much experience, we oftentimes misevaluate the quality or quantity of our own work.

If we could put forward our work earlier than the deadline, then we'll be able to ask opinions on where to improve, quality or quantity as required.


All these tips might sound difficult, but for people in a junior position, it is much easier than trying to focus only on improving quality or quantity.

I think of my ability to learn things slower than other people and often find myself focusing too much on the quality. I was always in a hurry to catch up with other people.

Then I came across these principles in a book called "内定者への手紙(A letter for our new employees)" written by Yuiga Kitano and realized I was underestimating these essence.

Since I keep these three principles in mind and focusing on speeding up on tasks, I feel much more confident and have more time brushing up on my work.

As an apprentice, I am going to keep this mindset while I'm in on-the-job training so that I can grow as fast as possible.

Thanks for reading!


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