A Caution About Work

It seems there are very few things we know for sure, but I am going to offer up something which you will likely agree is one of those sure things. It is the “fact” that it is virtually impossible to get all of your work done in any given day. There is always something else that can or needs to be done. None of us will ever show up on any given morning with absolutely nothing to do.

So, a couple of messages about this. First, don’t think less of other people because they are not able to get everything done. It is kind of easy to slip into this mindset. Funny thing – we tend to see it more clearly in others while we, ourselves, are coming up short of our own finish lines as well. Just be mindful about this.

But also remember that there is a big difference between not completing all your work, and not completing all the work you promised to get done. That indeed prompts a different conversation. The first situation might be about productivity, efficiency, maybe even work habits. With some guidance, training, coaching, and the like, these are things on which people can improve and do better over time.

The other situation about not fulfilling promised work is about accountability and trust. People count on you to deliver on what you say you will get done. Therefore, you need to be accountable to yourself and others for those commitments. When your promises and commitments are not fulfilled, the trust others have in you breaks. And that is never a good thing.

It seems as if everyone is getting more work piled on them today. This is especially true for the top performers because it is easily, but wrongly assumed, they can simply get even more done on time and well. As you continue to face that endless supply of work to be done, don’t lose too much sleep over what is left over for the next day. But keep a watchful eye on your promised work and be sure it does not slip. No one will step up to do their very best work for you, if you are continually dropping the ball with them.

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