Leap Year Lesson #38: Satisfaction Comes From Doing Things Well

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Professionalism
Tags: ,

Some people do just enough to get by. I’ve never understood that. I’ve always subscribed to the “if you’re going to do it, you may as well give it your best” theory. There is something inherently unsatisfying about doing a job and knowing you could have done better.

I realize that there are times when constraints combine to force us into making a tough choice about how well we might do something – time, cost, skills, other resources. I’m referring to those times, though, when we do have a choice. There is a deep satisfaction that comes from closing the books on some task and walking away thinking, “well done.”

Today I did a simple thing of replying to an email from a leader at work. I took my time with it and thought it through. I laid out all the points I wanted to make in response to the leader’s question. I proofed it several times and finally sent it when I thought it was done well. I copied my manager on it to get him in the loop on the discussion. It was just a short while afterward when my manager emailed back and complimented me on how well the content was framed up and how I made the points I made.

It would have been easy to give a much quicker answer that took less time. Maybe that would have sufficed, but it would not have been my best.

An email isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s a regular part of my work day. Especially when something significant is at stake, I need to communicate well.

And it doesn’t hurt to get a good “atta boy” from my manager along the way.

I hope you know from experience leap year lesson #38 – Satisfaction comes from doing things well.

Comments
  1. Tom White says:

    Jeff this is very good.You just discribed my work that I’m doing in my DC class. I give it my all every week. Some times more than I should. I do it right or I dont do it , and I always do it.I sometimes look over at the rest of the guys in the class and they have barely finished their questions in their wookbooks. I sometimes think that maybe I’m over doing it or are they under doing it? At any rate I feel better about myself because I do it the right way..

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