Finding Your Optimal Speed

“Increasing your highway cruising speed from 55mph (90km/h) to 75mph (120km/h) can raise fuel consumption as much as 20%. You can improve your gas mileage 10 – 15% by driving at 55mph rather than 65mph (104km/h). Note how quickly efficiency drops after 60 mph.”

What is your optimal speed?

We live in a culture that promotes faster, quicker, speaker, busier. People seem to think multi-tasking is the way to go to get more things done. More is better.


Maybe. Maybe not.

What if we were designed for a specific speed? What if we were created to work a certain amount of time each day, play a certain amount of time each day, and rest a certain amount of time each day?

When people hear what I do for work and play, they often ask me when I sleep or how many hours of sleep I get per night.

I’ll confess I’m often proud to tell them I get 5-6 hours a night (sometimes less). I where my lack of sleep on my sleeve like a badge of honor.

What a loser!

Many studies indicate you need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to achieve peak or optimal performance.

God created us to work, and he also created us to rest. In fact, he gave us Sabbath as a reminder to take a break.

Finding your optimal speed requires these intentional actions:

  1. Practice regular Sabbaths. My Dad says you should take a break one minute every hour, one hour every day, and one day every week. The Sabbath was made for us. In order to achieve your peak performance, you must learn to take breaks.
  2. Just say no. This can be challenging especially if you are a people-pleaser like me. When you let too many things on your agenda, you are no longer able to focus on the things that truly fit you. For more about this, I’d encourage you to read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. His teaching about your Zone of Genius fits right in with this point.
  3. Experiment and take notes. Not everyone is exactly the same. My optimal speed may be a little different than your optimal speed. Test out things to see how they impact your overall performance. I’d encourage you to keep a journal to document your daily activities and to comment on your perceived performance in relationship to these activities.
  4. Look in the mirror. What does your face tell you? Do you have bags under your eyes? Are you wearing a smile? Or has the stresses and strains of your life etched your face. I can usually tell if I’m operating in my sweet spot or not simply by looking in the mirror.
  5. Get someone else’s opinion. You and I need people in our lives who can help us see beyond the blinders we where. I meet with a few different groups of people. These people call me on the carpet when I’m doing something stupid – like operating outside my optimal speed. Who is in your corner who will give you an honest assessment of your commitments and your priorities?

I’m still trying to figure out my optimal speed. I want to make sure I’m operating efficiently.

What’s your optimal speed? How do you find and stay at your right speed? Share your thoughts in the comments.