Monday, October 27, 2008

Getting things done - day 3

Here are the final questions to examine as we try to be more productive ... [ht: Mark Sanborn]
Question number six:
Do you understand the difference between perfectionism and excellence? Many people take pride in having extremely high standards but there is a difference between having high standards and being a perfectionist.

A perfectionist is someone who has a neurotic attention to details, usually stemming from insecurity. Excellence is different. Excellence is a commitment to high standards that means additional time or energy invested in a task will be noticeably better to the end-user.

Some things are worth doing and getting done. Some things are worth doing well. Other things are worth doing very, very well. Perfectionism is the inability to know the difference.

Question number seven: Have you developed discipline? Discipline is doing what needs to be done rather than doing what you want to do. It is (also) the ability to delay immediate gratification in order to obtain long-term gratification.

Question number eight: Are your people skills sufficiently developed? There are only three real resources in the world: money, time, energy

The scarcest resource in our life is time. The second scarcest resource is energy. And if you invest your time and energy wisely, you can accomplish anything that you want to accomplish, including financial goals and objectives that you've set for yourself.

Another resource some of us have is the time and energy of other people. If you're only good at managing your own time and energy, you're not fully utilizing your resources. Leaders must develop the ability to get results with people. Your skill at getting results depends on how highly developed your people skills have become.

Question number nine: Do you suffer from the "super person syndrome"? The key is not doing it all yourself. Trying to do it all yourself will severally limit how much you can accomplish both personally and organizationally.

Question number ten: Do you procrastinate? Some people may answer by saying, "Well, let me think about that for a while and I'll get back to you later with an answer." The problem that all of us face is the tendency to postpone, the unwillingness to do what needs to be done at the moment and do something we'd rather do instead.

Question number eleven: Do you fear failure? Maybe you fear success.

Psychologists say that just as crippling as a fear of failure might be, so is a fear of success. Some people fear the consequences, the increased expectations that they have to live up to when they're successful. As a result they sometimes short-circuit themselves in their attempt to get things done. A fear of failure or a fear of success can be a very real barrier in our attempt to get things done.

Question number twelve: Have you attended a meeting this past week that was a complete waste of your time? Most of us can honestly answer yes to this question. Work at cutting down on meeting attendance that isn't really necessary.

Remember that organization and discipline, delegation, good people skills, confidence, and understanding the difference between perfectionism and excellence are the keys to productive and well-balanced lives.
My recommendation is to work on 2/3 of the most relevant questions in your situation. It may help in really making change for us to be productive. Remember: we are all works in progress.

Mine to work on is 7, 9, 10! You?

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