Would you rather do something average and deliver it on time or to a high standard and late?
Many people get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. It can get to the point where it’s difficult to hand in the completed work because that means letting go. Now the work is in someone else’s hands and you’re open to their critique or feedback.
On the other hand, submitting something average might seem like the wrong thing to do but that’s not always the case.
Firstly, let me clarify that by average I mean something you haven’t spent an excessive amount of time on. Some thing that is good but if you had a few more days or weeks would be so much better.
The thing is that sometimes progress is better than perfect.
In the case of my original question, you have two options.
You can submit late and to a high standard and then hope overtime you get better at meeting deadlines.
On the other hand, you can commit to always delivering on time and know that with practice your average will get better.
For a lot of people they will have reached a point where they have realised working from home just isn’t the same as being in the office.
Because it isn’t.
You might find yourself less focused, less productive and more distracted, especially if you live with other people.
And so it might be helpful to find ways to replicate how you feel at work in your home.
A few ideas are:
Create a suitable working space – Even if it’s just setting up at the dining table each day. Working from the sofa or your bed isn’t a suitable environment because they’re unlikely to places that you associate with work. Also it’s helpful to create some separation so that when you log off for the day you can move to the sofa to relax or tuck yourself into bed and read.
Get dressed – Not into your work clothes but wear something presentable instead if staying in your pyjamas or wearing a worn out pair of joggers.
Follow your usual routine – Whether that’s starting your day with a cup of tea at your desk, a mid morning snack, going through your inbox for the first 30 minutes of the day, having lunch at 1.30pm, whatever it may be.
Some are scared to ask for feedback whilst others are afraid to give it.
You don’t want to offend anyone or maybe if they’re more experienced than you, you don’t think you have the authority.
But I’ve learnt that it’s good to ask for feedback. In fact, I’m trying to do more of it in all aspects of my life. From colleagues, my manager, family, friends and even from you.
It’s not about looking for praise or a harsh critique but instead about opening yourself up to the perspective of the observer or receiver because you don’t see things the way they do.
For example, at work you may think that you’re doing your job well because you haven’t been given a warning or been told you’re under-performing. However, perhaps your manager has noticed you could do x, y or z differently but hasn’t said anything because you aren’t bad at what you do.
It’s about being open to seeing that there is room for improvement.
And so I wanted to ask, if you had to make a remark about this blog, what would you say?
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Like ice cube said ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself’.
So we recently had our annual performance reviews at work and something I took from it was that it’s important to assess yourself throughout the year.
When you let a year go by without assessing how you’re doing there’s a higher chance you’ll be surprised by what your manager tells you at the end of the year.
I think assessing yourself quarterly (or even monthly) will help you better understand how you’re doing and what you need to work on. It doesn’t have to be with your manager, it could be with another colleague or you could do it alone.
That way you can pick up on the things you need to work on, make changes and then later reassess.
You should work on getting better, expanding your knowledge and trying new things for you. Not to appease your boss or because you know it’s ‘just part of the process’.
This is one of those ‘you get out what you put in’ kinda circumstances.
Short answer: there is no use.
If it doesn’t feel good to feel bad then why not try something else?
It’s easy to feel bad about yourself when things go wrong but ruminating on that feeling isn’t likely to help you improve and get better at whatever you’re working on.
Perhaps asking yourself ‘what could I have done better?’ might be more useful.
Then take whatever is on that list and give them a go one by one until you find something that helps you improve.
I have no doubt that will be much more useful than the previous approach.
I often like to remind myself of Zig Ziglars popular quote ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well.‘
So, how do you execute a big idea when you’re just starting out. Or do you just put it on hold until you have more experience.
I used to think that it was best to wait because I didn’t want to look back on a good idea and see how much better it could have been.
But in doing that, I wasn’t allowing myself the room for trial and error, room to improve.
There’s nothing wrong in doing something poorly , it’s part of the process. Not everything you do will be perfect and treating things as so will only limit your potential.
So, if you have a big idea that you’re holding back on, now might be the perfect time to do something with it.