When you are in performance mode, you have you have to choose how you will execute your tasks. Option one is to complete them as efficiently and accurately as possible, kinda like being on an assembly line. Just do the same way you did the last one and just like you’ll do the next one. So you check the box. “Yep. I did that.”
Option two requires more thought. Having done something, ask yourself, “Does this make sense? What are the consequences, positive and negative? Does it further my client achieving their goals?” This level of thinking requires more than checking boxes. And it’s what separates you from artificial intelligence.
Difficult To Choose
You know that option two execution is important, it matters, and your clients expect it. It’s not that you can’t—you just don’t. So why don’t you execute in the second option more often? In the end, it’s because you are too crowded. You’ve not allowed enough space to breathe or think or anticipate. You are so on-the-go that your focus is on competing the next task in front of you.
But you’re more than that. You are a knowledge worker who creates value with your mind. You use thoughtful insight gained from your specialized training and experience to separate yourself from assembly line performance.
Now, no one is going to force you to take “think time,” or what we call “balcony time.” In fact, the external pressures are pushing you to choose option one. You have to resist and choose option two, at least periodically, to ensure you aren’t just checking boxes—and acting robotic. It may require you to realign your priorities. The expectations that others have of you will have to be negotiated, communicated and clarified. Spending time in the balcony is a choice that must be on your calendar with DO NOT DISTURB on it.
When you finish reading this, you will go back to performance mode. Which execution option will you choose? (Hint: get off the assembly line!)
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