Many people accomplish a lot during their workday. For the project, new product development, or the marketing campaign, is the work finished or are you simply running out of time?
Procrastinating students do it, they wait too long to start and they must turn in their work on time. It may be true for your workout, doing your hair, or brushing your teeth. There is a deadline, and then everything stops.
I believe it was the famous American football coach, Vince Lombardi, who said, “We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.”
It happens for the blog post, the graduate dissertation, and the cabinet maker. One axis of measurement for the product always seems to be connected to time. When time is up, it is finished.
If we are almost out of time, the quality or level of innovation may suffer.
Standards or Efficiency?
Consider that your standards are your standards, and how you measure quality is conditioned by time.
It happens in manufacturing and it happens in healthcare. Time is always working against quality and is inclusive for the measurement of efficiency.
People claim, “We need more time.”
The response in one form or another often is, “Time is money.”
What is the most useful metric? What axis of measurement are you using?
Are You Finished?
The best work always seems to happen when the builder claims the work is finished. An alternate claim is, “I ran out of time, and so, I’m finished.” When this happens, something suffered.
For your next project, brainstorming session, or the report you are about to turn in to your boss, ask yourself how it would be different if you removed the axis of time.
Will it change the finished work? Should it?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.