"I am not sure anyone even reads my status reports."I was talking to my mentor, airing my frustration about the time I spent writing status reports I wasn't sure were read.
"Next time, prepare your report, but don't send it. Send the old one. If anyone says something about it you can just go "Oh, I attached the wrong one" and then you send the latest. If no one notices - well then you know it is not worth your time and effort to write them anymore."I followed my mentor's advice. It turned out that my report, one of many in a large multi-site project, was not read.
When I talk to people who want to find more time in their everyday lives, many tell me they are perfectionists. They have high standards and are unable to do all the things they want to do, since they want to do each thing very well.
I understand the feeling. I also believe in high standards and always doing your job in a way that makes you proud.
There is only one catch:
Not every task is worth your highest ambition level.I often refer to the expression:
"Whatever's worth doing, is worth doing well."This should not be confused with "whatever you are asked to do is worth doing well."
There are times, like in my example above, when we are asked to do things that are not worth our time and effort. In an ideal world we shouldn't do them at all. But at times, refusing to do them may have consequences you are not willing to take.
That is when it is time to look beyond your high standards. Look beyond them and adjust your ambition level to the task at hand.
If you want to do everything at the same ambition level, maybe you can fit in 10 great things in your glass of time. If you adjust your ambition level to the task, maybe you can fit in 13.
The choice is yours.
Don't hide behind your high standards and say "you don't have time" to do more than you do today.
When you make conscious decisions about what to do and how well to do it, you have taken a big step towards mastering your time. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.