That was okay. Now redo it.

That was great. Now redo it.

Have you ever completed something and then just found yourself taking a deep breath at the fact it was done? If you are anything less than excited and energized by what you have just completed, you need to take another look and see what is lacking.

When you decide to go the extra mile in your work, you also need to understand how you intend to do that. Is it increasing your level of service, your level of quality or the quantity of an essential ingredient or labor?  It is not uncommon for the simple decision to go the extra mile or put in extra effort to have an energizing effect on how you approach the work.  When that energy is missing, it can be seen in the result.

When the energy is there at the completion of the work, there will be one of two results. You might have an insatiable desire to share it with someone immediately. It might be like “Hey, look what I just did!” There will be a sense of pride. Or, you might have an uneasiness about the quality of the work and you want someone to review it and let you know whether it is good enough or not.  In both cases, you care about the result.

When you do not feel like sharing the excitement or confirming the result, it could be a sign that you have gone through the motions and completed something you are more than qualified to deliver and you have done what it takes to deliver. And, while that may be good enough, it also may lack some excitement or some evidence that you have gone the extra mile. If you are okay with that, it may be fine.

If you would like to follow a simple process to see how this works, here is all you need to do.

  1. Complete your work, project, or product.
  2. Step away from it after a short while and take a moment to think about how you feel about it.
  3. Sit down and review the work in detail.
  4. If there is anything you think can be done better, or you find yourself less than excited about the work, take the bow off the box, and get to work making it the best it can be.  When you are proud of what you have done, you can put the bow back on it.

If you look at successful people, you will see that many go through this process whenever they complete something.  Some people do this during the entire work while others do this after each major step or milestone.  Some people do this as a conscious step and others do this without having made a specific decision to do it. 

Take some time and think about how you can use it.  What projects can you apply this to? Can this make a difference in something you are working on? You might be surprised how good the work is when you come back to it for a second pass.