Russell Gray is the managing editor of the Kansas City Business Journal.  He recently articulated a truism about deadlines:

It’s not the best story you can do; it’s the best story you can do in the allotted time.

How true that is!  It is true for more than just journalists.  In our role as businesspersons, we are constantly challenged to do more with less.  We are constantly called on to refine our processes and improve our performance.  That constant challenge means sometimes what we produce is not genuinely our “best story,” but it is the “best story” we could do in the allotted time.

To be professionally effective (and personally effective too), one must learn to assess resources against the clock.  While I might have a Boeing 747 vision for that new project, sometimes I have to settle for the Cessna vision instead.  Success in life and in business means constantly making those kinds of determinations.  It takes a lot of wisdom and patience.  When you do it right, it also greatly reduces your stress level.

Perfectionists struggle with this—I know this is true because I am a recovering perfectionist.  Remind yourself every day: you do not always have to produce your “best story,” but you should produce the “best story” you can do in the allotted time.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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