I shared recently an internal feeling that I do not generally give 100%. While I still think that has truth, I have been thinking about this more in a new context.
One of my heroes is constantly out there doing things that aren’t perfect. She might be giving a presentation and not have all the links she want immediately available.
The consequence? Her ‘class’ gets the information a little bit later. Maybe even on the same call while she has an assistant find it.
Things aren’t always smooth, but I don’t hold it against her. Instead, it is so clear that she is out there moving forward. She chooses to get information out and spend her time pursing the big picture even if the minutiae might be not quite ready.
One time she was teaching a class about new software as the software was being developed! It was ready shortly after the lecture, but it was still useful for her to talk about it.
In my own life, I have used similar behaviors. While they were conscious and I thought a good choice, in the back of my mind was a voice that said ‘you are not working hard enough’. In reality, I was getting way more done, but I carried that voice with me.
Let me explain.
As an attorney with a very high volume of cases, many would settle or be postponed at the last minute. Thus, I learned to prepare rather close to the scheduled hearing. The consequence? If it moved or settled, I didn’t waste the time preparing. If it went forward though, I was a little less prepared than had I spent weeks preparing. At least in theory I was a little less prepared, I don’t think my effectiveness was often, if ever, hampered by my tactic.
We all have a choice how hard to work, but hard work isn’t always good work. We only have so much time, and there will always be advantages and consequences. Sometimes it might be worth waiting till the last minute so that overall you move further towards your goals.