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Champagne or Pinot Gris… When does high performance really count?

So, we are nearly at the end of the year. And everyone is tired! With life seemingly accelerating every year, there aren’t enough minutes, hours, days to achieve everything on The List. So when does high performance really count? And we do we have to let go, and say, good is good enough?

Now let’s be clear, I can’t speak from a place of extensive experience of ‘ohhh, it’s fine, i don’t have to be perfect...’ but how much would I have benefited from embracing that in the past?

A wise friend talks about ‘champagne moments’ - i.e. don’t over perform all the time, but make sure you fully lock in (and have the energy for it) when you need to. Those are the moments that you wow, delight and exceed expectations. Those are the ones that people really remember, that are career changing, because you stepped up when the heat was on. And let’s be honest, no one likes people spraying champagne all the time, and frankly it can get expensive.

And what's the real cost? It’s your family, your friends, your partner, YOU. Your sanity!

Plus, sadly, what I’ve seen time and time again, is that even if you do spend all that extra time making things perfect, it isn’t appreciated anyway (or worse), you’re seen as ‘lacking time management skills’ because you're flogging your guts out til 1am (when your colleagues are tucked up getting ready to perform for the next day). And honestly, honestly, what is the real incremental difference? Will anyone actually even care?

I had a realisation of this having one of my whiteboard strategy meetings with myself a few years ago. I would book a room for an hour or more, go through my quarterly strategy and come out laser focused on the period ahead. The reality was though, I achieved 80% (or more) of what I needed to in the first 15 mins. The rest of the time was tiny tweaks; me being a perfectionist, trying to squeeze the tiny idea drops out of my brain. So, I changed it up - I would do a 15 min power quarter; sense check it was the core deliverables, then get on with my day. The tweaks, if worth it, would follow later.

So, as we go into the celebration and reflective season, I ask you this.

Where do you need to get out the champers, but where is Prosecco, or even a Pinot Gris going to do just fine?

Here are 3 questions to check:

  1. What am I giving up by spending X more time on this?

  2. What’s the incremental difference going to be?

  3. Is anyone going to notice (and I mean that - really????)

Now, from one perfectionist to another, I can feel an inner conflict (nooooo!) but realise this…

If you don't use up the champagne at work, you'll have the opportunity for many more of those moments, with the people who count the most.

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