The idea for this post came about while I was visiting Rupali’s blog. This JRR Tolkien quote is so true…
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Yes… don’t waste the most valuable commodity we are blessed with. Use time wisely. Years ago, long before the internet and the ease of having a laptop at my fingertips, I learned to plan my day while I was doing my early morning ablutions. It’s amazing how quickly one can learn to review what tasks must be done and in what order to complete them… all while having a shower.
A 30 second review of the partly completed tasks of the day before will usually very quickly determine how to go about the present day’s work. Next step, to review project progress or where the program is at. Yes, we each have our specific tasks to complete at whatever stage of life we are. Obviously, when you’re junior, your tasks may be lesser or fewer. So, the sooner you get into the habit of daily planning and setting regular micro goals the sooner you’ll work out that your part in the process helps achieve to overall team project/ program accomplishments.
Yes, if we decide how to use our time as best we can we may just have more free time to do the things we really love. I’m honest when I say I’ve very rarely been in the situation where I’m under time pressure. Sometimes we waste too much of the precious commodity by pursuing the 80/ 20 balance. Spending 80% of the time to achieve that 20% needed for perfection is a total waste.
You may raise an eyebrow at that statement but in life’s reality, who’s perfection are we striving for? Some may insist on XYZ whereas the more than adequate need is xyz! To illustrate… many years ago a builder friend who was heavily involved with large, affordable estate construction learned to walk away at a particular point of each build.
Those days, the final 5% retainer was only released when clients moved in and all the snags were completed. This created all sorts of problems. Clients kept calling the builders back for stupid reasons, never satisfied with the end result. I’m not saying bad workmanship or incomplete work should be excused. Remember, this was affordable, estate housing often built within tight budgets as to minimise the buying cost for the new home owner.
The resultant revisits often cost builders more than the 5% retainer. Therefore, my friend employed one man to ensure that the house was completed to the building spec before the new owner moved in. Then he didn’t bother to return after the 95% payout. Usually, the new owner soon learned that he’d moved into a suitably completed building so in the process my friend saved himself endless hours and hassles by not pandering to the whims of many new home owners.
A later spin-off was that many months later the banks would call the home owners. Many would say they’re happy and the 5% payout would arrive in my friend’s bank account. Lovely little unexpected bonus… multiply that by 20 over a year and he had his holiday money all sorted… for almost no pain.
The moral of the story? Decide on how you want to spend your time… 80% chasing the last 20% to attain someone else’s perfection or 20% to ensure the task is completed way beyond the 80% expectation of perfection!
PS – I thought the Phoenix may have significance… I’m just trying to work it out…