Humans can adapt when complex patterns unfold at a faster or slower pace, for instance when remembering a grocery list that is dictated at an increasingly fast rate. Integrating information over such timescales crucially depends on working memory, but although recent findings have shown that working memory capacity can be flexibly adapted, such adaptations have not yet been demonstrated for encoding speed. In a series of experiments, we found that young adults encoded at a faster rate when they were adapted to overall and recent stimulus duration. Interestingly, our participants were unable to use explicit cues to speed up encoding, even though these cues were objectively more informative than statistical information. Our findings suggest that adaptive tuning of encoding speed in working memory is a fundamental but largely implicit mechanism underlying our ability to keep up with the pace of our surroundings.