Strive for High Quality
There are several reasons to keep your focus on delivering high-quality results. These include:
- High-quality work earns you a more respectable reputation, larger rewards, and greater freedom to do things your way.
- High-quality work rarely needs re-adjusting, revising, or reworking: once done, it generally stays done, boosting your productivity and leaving you more time for other activities.
- High-quality work tends to bring you bigger and better opportunities.
But none of this suggests that producing high-quality work is easy. Quality improvements usually require an intense focus on expertise, technique, and detail. Unfortunately, some people don’t enjoy or don’t value these requirements.
Nevertheless, if you want to strengthen the quality of your results, your productivity, and your success, you must pay more attention to the following basic principles:
Upgrade Your Skills
Seek out and take advantage of educational and experiential opportunities to become more skillful — focusing on your core activities, at the very least. Whatever you are good at now, you can feel fairly confident your capabilities will diminish as technologies and methodologies continue to evolve. If you don’t keep up, you’ll inevitably fall behind, and the quality of your results will suffer.
What’s more, in-depth and diversified skills position you to better withstand changes — whatever they may be — that can easily overwhelm people who behave as though the world of tomorrow won’t be much different from today.
Take a Long-Term View
Slapping together a result to meet short-term metrics sometimes seems like an expedient course of action. But this approach usually turns out to be far less productive — and certainly results in lower-quality output — than efforts geared toward yielding longer-term effectiveness.
By looking at the “big picture,” you’ll see how higher-quality results — even if they take more time and effort to complete — can actually prove cheaper, better, and faster than “quick and dirty” ones.
In the words of famous basketball coach John Wooden: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it again?”
Pride Pays Off
Feeling proud of what you do in your work and your life leads to a higher level of motivation, which in turn drives you to pay more attention to detail and ultimately to work toward higher-quality results.
The secret here is not to base your feelings of pride on how well you and your work compare to others, but on how much you and your work have improved in recent weeks, months, and years. That’s a big reason you should…
Strive for Steady Improvement
No matter how good you are right now, whatever you do, there’s always room to get better. Higher-quality work results when you regularly capitalize on your current capabilities while seeking to strengthen any areas where you’re relatively weak.
This requires analyzing every aspect of your work (and your life), looking for the easiest opportunities to turn out better results. Once you’ve picked all this low-hanging fruit, you can steadily search for areas in which you can further improve — even when those improvements seem relatively small.
Part of this emphasis on steady improvement involves predicting and preparing for whatever is coming next, from simple adjustments to major realignments, improved procedures, or entirely new paradigms. By looking ahead and anticipating future challenges, you stay ahead of the curve and position yourself to improve the quality of your results in both work and life.
In the final analysis, a focus on high-quality results is one of the best ways to stay relevant, competent, and effective as the pace of change accelerates and the direction change takes us varies — as it often does — erratically.
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