Clementine-AsleepIf you tend to be an overachiever when it comes to delivering on expectations, maybe that's not the best idea in the world for improving career success.

Sure, there are some areas where it's pretty important to over-deliver. But if you do it uniformly with little regard to the situation, it could be time to consciously deliver less and invest your newly available time, effort, and energy in other places.

By the way, the first paragraph has been me for much of my career.

Increasingly, however, I see the need to differentiate where and how I over-deliver.

7 Questions for Doing Less than Before

Here are some questions I'm using to identify opportunities to begin doing less than before:

  • Is something really important to me, but I'm the only one who thinks it is?
  • Will anyone notice the impact of delivering less?
  • Will there be obvious unused leftovers if I over-deliver?
  • If something is finished, will adding to it only make it seem less finished?
  • Have the standards of everyone that matters already been surpassed?
  • Is it true that more effort won't result in more beneficial results?
  • Will spending more time on something that has a little room for improvement create disproportionately negative impacts on something else that has MORE room for improvement?

Improving Career Success

I will readily admit these questions are more easily asked than answered. In turn, they’re more easily answered than the answers implemented.

But these questions ARE a start to better connecting productive effort and results in the hope of strengthening the results we can all deliver and improving career success.  - Mike Brown

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