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Always give 100%

It's happened to all of us: you wake up in the morning feeling tired or somehow below par. Maybe you couldn't get to sleep, maybe you were up late, maybe you're starting to go down with something. You go in to work and you think "I'm not feeling great; I'll put in 60% effort today, but it's OK, I'll make up for it tomorrow."

It's happened to all of us: you wake up in the morning feeling tired or somehow below par. Maybe you couldn't get to sleep, maybe you were up late, maybe you're starting to go down with something. You go in to work and you think "I'm not feeling great; I'll put in 60% effort today, but it's OK, I'll make up for it tomorrow."

The problem is, you can't give 140% the following day: you can never give more than 100%. So that missing 40% is gone, it's wastage, it's 40% of your productivity that will never be recovered.

The answer is you either have to battle through and give 100%, or be honest with yourself. Accept the fact that you're not performing to your best. Be open with those who will be affected - clients or colleagues who are depending on you – and above all be honest with yourself.

Now I know some of you have been reading this thinking "I always give 110%." I've got news for you. It's still 100%, it's just that at some time in the past you set yourself a lower expectation of what 100% was – either you've developed new skills, behaviours or attitudes that have made you more productive, or you used to be less motivated. Either way, you need to reset your productivity "thermostat": what you're doing now is 100%. There is no 10% leeway.

And you owe it to yourself, to your clients, to your colleagues, to your boss, your spouse, your wife…. to EVERYONE… to be fully present, giving your life 100%, every day.

Tip: Keep a log for a few days, and write down the things that reduce your productivity during that period: answering emails, "busy work", changes in your state during the day, interruptions, … whatever comes up. If you like detail, you can record how long you were working below 100%, and even what you felt your productivity was. At the end of the day, take 5 minutes to look back at your log, and record your thoughts about what you have written through the day.

So here's a question to you: what are the things that regularly prevent you from giving 100%? Do you let colleagues or clients affect your state too much? Are there processes in your workflow that eat up time? Are you spending too long reading the headlines online every morning? Where are the drains in your day… The comment box is open!

1 Comment

  1. Melanie Guerrero says:

    Hi, Rob. this is a great article, it sure opened my mind to a concept that I have overlooked. I’ve been working for more than a decade and I have, just three years ago, realized my full potential. There are downtime days, though, especially when I’ve been partying a lot to reward myself for a job well done. On those days, I’d always say I’ll make up next week. It’s true, those down days were wastages…a very expensive wastage. Thanks for this article, I’ll surely share this with my team.

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