Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DON'T Give 110%.

I had a client today who always gives 110%. Yes, he reaps rewards, but he's stressed out much of the time, makes mistakes as a result, and hasn't developed close personal or professional relationships.

The most successful people I know give 90%. They try but rarely push themselves to the max. They stay in the moment, tackling whatever they're working on slow but steady, and don't waste time worrying about what's ahead.

They probably get a little less done than a 110%er but have the emotional reserve to not burn out, develop relationships, and enjoy whatever it is they're doing.


Alexandra Levit said...

Great point, because when I think about it, during the times in my career when I've tried too hard, I've actually achieved less. You have to maintain some level of distance in order to allow the universe to work in your favor.


Alexandra Levit
Author, How'd You Score That Gig?
Author, Success for Hire

JP Adams said...

In general I agree with your comment. Effective people are able to sit back and identify the critical questions to be addressed. They do so with relaxed focus and steady execution.

With that said, I know no one who arrives at this point who hasn't pushed themselves to the absolute limit not once, but multiple times.

Extreme effort is a pre requisit to understanding balance.

So, if you're new to the world of personal productivity I would highly recommend finding something you love thats beyond your comfort zone. Then fully dedicate yourself to it for at least 6 months. Pull out all the stops. Give it everything..

Otherwise you will most likely find yourself at 50% productivity in a mere few weeks.

Marty Nemko said...

I think JP Adams' comment is an excellent complement to my original post. Thank you, JP.

Calvin said...

This idea resonates with me. A few related points I've noticed from my study of similar issues in students:

(1) Working at 110% capacity does not necessarily mean producing better work or finisher soon than working at 90% capacity. It often instead induces more busywork and inefficiency in the process (a lot of big picture projects require both rest and reflection.)

(2) Students often arrive at 110% due to a peer pressure driven work culture that equates the negative effects of this state -- stress, fatigue, lack of recharging activities -- with being a "good" student who is not neglecting his or her potential. I assume a similar effect exists in the working world.


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