Work is as challenging as it is fulfilling for me. I find that the challenges I have to solve at work leave me frustrated but also incredibly gratified after I’ve sorted them out, as I believe you must also feel about the challenges you face at work. That said, excellence is a topic I have had to reflect on these past few months, particularly intercepting the space between excellence and speed. Work comes with deadlines to meet and quality that you cannot compromise on, but I’ve found that sometimes I am tempted to sacrifice one at the expense of the other.

Do I turn that project in before the deadline at the expense of its excellence if I delayed it for just a little longer? But you see, I really hate to go against my word. If I give a 4pm turn in time, I want to be sure that by 3:55pm latest, my work is turned in, the reality however is that because I am often juggling more than one assignment per time, not to talk about all the other personal matters I have to attend to, that 4pm leaves me in a mad frenzy that occasionally would lead to a slip up. Thankfully I have been able to incorporate a system that helps me deliver at my best, while also ensuring that I deliver on time. Some of them are:

  • Schedule your work: This goes without saying, and what I have found with this is that I am a lot more productive when I have a time table – so to speak – of my work schedule, it greatly helps to keep me accountable, direct my energy, and gives me a sense of urgency about pressing assignments.

  • Prioritize urgent work: This point flows from the previous one. It helps to know what task is urgent so that you can direct your attention to it, that way you will not be rushed when delivering on it, which will help to reduce instances of quality compromise.

  • Put in extra time if you must: which you will often need to do. I have taken to scheduling a few hours in the middle of the night to get some work done. It’s the one time outside of my work hours that I can truly commit myself to work, and it also helps that because of the quiet, I am able to be productive.

  • Don’t compromise on excellence: I know it’s repetitive but excellence won’t happy until you decide on it so regardless of whether or not the task at hand is urgent, let it be a firm decision in your subconscious that you will not deliver anything less than the best. Whatever you put out will be a reflection of who you are, and you sure don’t want to be the person who is passed over when great opportunities come along because they think you’re not good enough. Let excellence drive every work you churn out.

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