#7 of 37 Lessons -- If You Want it Bad, You Get it Bad

If you want it bad, you get it bad – one of my former bosses used to say this on a pretty regular basis. It was almost always because someone either procrastinated a complex task, or someone underestimated how long a project would take. In a similar vein, Benjamin Franklin said, “Haste makes waste” and carpenters say, “measure twice, cut once.” Urgency causes great inefficiency.

A former co-worker had an almost daily habit of putting off doing his daily work until very late in the afternoon. He’d come to work at about 9:00 a.m. and would spend a good part of his time on non-urgent and unimportant tasks. Then, around 4:00 p.m., he would begin the important and urgent items he should have been doing all along. This usually resulted in his working late into the night. The next day, he would complain how overworked he was and that he missed precious time with his family. 

Besides the stress he brought on himself, the resources (co-workers) that were vital to his work, often weren’t available when he needed their inputs. Then, he would have to set aside certain parts until the next day, or would have to call the resource(s) at home, sometimes very late at night. His habits did not enamor him to family, friends and coworkers. In fact, many of them began to ignore his late-night calls for help and resented his procrastination. Over-time, the missed deadlines and ones that screeched in under the wire became a concern of his superiors and his reputation held him back from further success.

Regardless how you say it, taking an appropriate amount of time to complete a task Is important and can help manage stress, increase quality, save money and increase safety. When you need something badly, think first about how haste makes waste and how you might allocate time for completion. Consider resetting your time parameters, asking for help or delegating tasks. Do you want it good, or do you want it bad? The choice is up to you!