Velocity Hacks: How to Work Smarter, Not Harder

In today's fast-paced world, the rate of change might feel like being on a busy freeway or chasing the speed of light.

Various happy individuals gathered around a computer screen.
Various happy individuals gathered around a computer screen.

In today’s fast-paced world, the rate of change might feel like being on a busy freeway or chasing the speed of light. At work, we need to keep up with the rapid (and constant) advancements in technology, making it difficult to maintain a balance between being efficient and delivering quality results. 

And we’ve become conditioned to expect speed and quality outside of work, too. Whether it’s ordering food, buying clothes, or booking a service, we don’t have much patience for slow processes or delays. 

This puts immense pressure on businesses to deliver products and services faster than ever before. To keep pace with these heightened consumer expectations, employees must find innovative ways to increase efficiency.

That’s where velocity comes in.

In this blog, we’ll explore what achieving velocity looks like and share “velocity hacks” from our very own Intuit employees. 

The concept of velocity is crucial for companies to thrive in today’s environment, and critical to Intuit’s mission of powering prosperity. Velocity is the combination of direction and speed. It’s a way to work smarter, not harder.

According to our CEO Sasan Goodarzi, velocity is a differentiator.

“Whether you’re leading large teams or working for yourself, operating with velocity is how you can differentiate yourself by taking more swings, failing fast, and ultimately taking the actions needed to achieve business success.”

Sasan Goodarzi

Read more from Sasan on velocity here.

Velocity isn’t just about moving fast, but it’s about having a deep understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve, and using that insight to inform decisions.

No matter where you work or the role you play, velocity is crucial to success. 

Take charge of your calendar and to-dos

Start the day with some easy tasks. Some quick wins help you get pumped up before tackling the big ones.
– Amey Kinnerkar

Write a win list. I write down the three things I need to do that day to “win the day” or make the day successful. It takes priority over the to-do list and forces me to do what matters most, even if it isn’t the quickest or easiest task.
– Aviv Harkov

End each day with a to-do list of the top 3 things to tackle the following day.
– Jolie Spellacy

I like to color code my calendar into meetings I’m driving versus meetings I’m participating in. It helps me plan and walk into meetings feeling better prepared.
– Audrey Meng

I categorize what I have to get done by priority, and label small tasks as such. Whenever I feel like not doing anything or have free time, I take one of these small tasks and get it done. This brings me back to rhythm.
Vinoth Arun

Cultivate a state of flow and focus 

I pause all notifications periodically throughout the day so that I can get into a state of flow. Flow is the state of mind where you are completely focused on the task at hand and are able to work without distractions.
Kerry-Ann Lewis

For coding itself, music is key! I listen to a variety of music, but for when I really need to be productive, I have a special movie-score playlist that I play to focus.
– Alex Pollock

I try to take a few minutes to “remember my why” at the beginning of the day, and reconnect with my sense of purpose.
Tamika Hayes

Automate as much of your work as possible using AI. When you join Intuit, employees gain access to GenStudio (our in-house GenAI operating system). I spend every week auditing my daily tasks, and see if I can offload those into GenStudio.
Joseph Hosford

I use AI to select the best times to be productive based on my schedule and email. It’s been really helpful. Before each week, I make sure I have my top 6 priorities where my time will be allocated and am intentional on those for the week.
Betsy Scuteri

I love adding AI meeting assistants to my calls, they help to take meeting notes, summarize them, and turn them into actionable items.
– Usha Shivashankara

Taking short activity breaks, like disconnecting during lunch, helps me mentally recharge, reduce eye-strain, and boost focus.
– Ismail Rawoof

Wearing a smartwatch that has a Pomodoro timer app. The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method based on 25-minute stretches of focused work broken by five-minute breaks. Working in intervals and taking short breaks keeps me focused while giving me the breaks I need.
– Maggie Ninette

The choice to experiment in your daily routine can be made regardless of the position you hold or the scale at which you’re working. 

With these velocity hacks, we hope you’ll achieve more in the same amount of time, feel less stressed, and accomplish more than ever before.

Which one of these tips will you incorporate into your day-to-day life?

Find your speed, maintain your direction, and achieve velocity!


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