Do you do ordinary work or extraordinary work? You may be thinking, "Well, I'm ordinary, but at least I have balance. I'm not going to become a workaholic just so I can be extraordinary." What if you didn't have to be a workaholic to be extraordinary? Chris at the Maximize Possibility Blog says that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is simply "that little extra". He notes that:
- "The Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 - auto races that take over three hours to complete are rarely won by more than a couple of seconds. The average over the last 10 years has been just 1.54 seconds.
- The difference between a gold and silver medal performance in timed events at the Olympic games it rarely more than 1/10th of a second."
What would "that little extra" look like in your job? Would it be smiling when you answer the phone? Proofing your e-mails before firing them off? Getting input from a couple of peers before planning a project? Most of the little extra actions that set you apart will require little in the way of actual time and effort and can yield big payoffs in results.
"Hmmmm," you may be thinking, "I'm just not convinced that I won't turn into a neurotic workaholic if I go around doing "that little extra" all the time. Robert Kriegel to the rescue. In Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers Kriegel busts the myth that being willing to give 110% all the time is what it takes to get ahead. Instead he suggests that you can perform better if you work smart - usually at 80-90% of your current pace.
Okay, so I'm going to work at 90% and still do "that little extra?" Yep. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." By eliminating franticness, and applying better thinking you can be more successful at work and have a more full personal life. It's up to you to figure out what 90% looks like - but rest assured that 90% is NOT a contradiction with "that little extra"!