For what seemed like ages, I frequently passed a fenced off construction site on the edge of town. A banner affixed to the fence forecasted a future clinic being open for business at some unspecified point in the future. Even though there was some evidence of construction workers making progress, whenever I drove past it always seemed to me like it was TAKING FOREVER and would NEVER open.
Does anything seem like it is taking forever in your life?
Today, the clinic has been open for a year or more. As patients walk in and out of its doors, I doubt they think much, if at all, about the fence that for so long was around the now busy parking lot. Instead, if they are in the mood to be grateful, people coming for clinic visits probably think, “Wow, it’s so convenient to have a gorgeous center of doctors’ offices and an emergency room so close to home.”
Could you imagine if instead of taking the time they did, the construction crew had rushed to erect this clinic in a month or two, just so the doors could be open, patients could be served, and healthcare workers could get paid?
Had that been the case, rather than enjoying the results and comfort of time and effort well spent, patients, fearing for their safety and wellbeing, would likely be hesitant to enter. Instead of being a place of healing, health and wellness, a medical facility constructed in such a short time would likely spell a grave health risk. Instead of appreciation, when they considered the building people would probably think, “I’ll just drive farther and go somewhere else. Let someone else be the guinea pig.”
The time it takes us to develop our skills and complete “behind the fence” work isn’t wasted time. Rather, it serves to enhance our lives and by extension the lives of those around us.
If you’re anything like me, one “behind the fence” task that sometimes feels utterly annoying and tempting to neglect is organization.
Yet as I build the vision I believe deeply in, organization is simply a vital and necessary part of the process.
When I began my career, organization felt like such a hassle because I imagined it stole time away from far more valuable business activities like talking to prospects, coaching clients and speaking to audiences.
However from the vantage point of where I am now in my career, I realize much of the success I’ve enjoyed has been made possible by me taking the time to organize effectively and efficiently.
There’re many wonderful organizational techniques out there. Most of them are not rocket science, or even middle school science for that matter, but they do share one thing in common: they take time to do. Some take a little bit of time. Some take a whole lot more.
After many years of despising many parts of the development process for taking “too long”, I’ve finally come to the point of understanding that to do the work I want to do well, I need to allow myself the time to organize well.
With this fresh perspective, it’s been easier to take my focus away from questions like: “How can I do this in the shortest amount of time possible?,” in favor of concentrating on more constructive ones, like: “How can I take the time I need to do my imperfect best to create something I’m proud of?”.
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JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “Doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.