… resist your natural urge to be perfect.
As a high-performer, you want to do a great job in EVERYTHING that you do.
It’s what made you successful.
It’s also what will limit you if you apply it too broadly.
To iron out all of the kinks all of the time requires a big time investment. The more time you spend on the minor details, especially with low-priority tasks, the less time you spend on meaningful work.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed by administrative or low-value work, revisit your priorities list. Determine your priorities by reflecting on the intersection between what you want to do and excel at and what your firm or boss needs from you at the moment.
Once your priorities are clear, rank your tasks so they align with your priorities. The key idea is to spend most of your day on top-ranking activities that will help you achieve your core career goals. This is much easier said than done since urgent but unimportant tasks frequently hijack our tasks list.
If you are frequently mired in low-value tasks despite using a clear ranking system, it may help to analyze your daily actions more closely. Find the points in your day where you get distracted by low-value activities and notice the habits that get you off track. Once you identify your bad habits, isolate and change one of them and see if you are better at following your task list. Also, frequently review your priorities since they will change as you progress in your career.
Always be clear on what you want to accomplish with each task and remember:
For less meaningful tasks, good enough is good enough.
Inspired by Extreme Productivity by Bob Pozen
Photo by Lindsey Turner