It’s important to know how to ask for more time in a professional setting.
But speaking up can be scary. Your inner critic will likely question:
- Will my boss think I’m incompetent?
- Will my coworkers think I’m lazy?
- Is there something wrong with me for being so slow?
First, know that your fear exaggerates urgency.
What you think needs to be done right away, likely doesn’t need to be. Very few tasks are truly urgent and important enough that something terrible will happen if you left it for another day. Consider delegating things that might be urgent, but not very important.
Second, know that slowing down has benefits.
You are able to think more strategically. You are less likely to make mistakes. You are better able to build relationships that lead to more effective teamwork and positive outcomes. It’s worthwhile to ask for more time because you’ll do a better job.
Third, know that asking for more time can make you look good.
You demonstrate self-awareness and maturity when you ask for what you need. You show that you care when you take time to formulate a thoughtful response.
Hopefully these 3 reminders help quiet your speedaholic inner critic.
Now, how to ask for more time.
Let’s say you are in a meeting and the discussion is too complex for a straightforward answer. Withhold the urge to blurt something just because society values the loudest and quickest voice in the room.
SIGroup community member, Negar Naghshinehpour, shares this line which she uses at work:
“This is a big question. I don’t feel equipped to answer right now. Can we set up a time to discuss later?”
Bam! Wouldn’t you be impressed if someone had the courage and tact to say that in a meeting?
Tweak it to your liking. Practice it in front of a mirror. Try it out with a friend. The main goal is to give yourself time to process information. This is especially important for introverts who think internally rather than verbally.
Next time you feel pressure to speed up just for the sake of speeding up, ask for more time instead.
What is the SIGroup?
The Social Impact Learning & Support Group is a monthly gathering of purpose-driven people in Vancouver, BC. We share tips which are reposted on this blog. Sign up for the newsletter to stay in the loop.