Originally posted on, fellow Resetter Detavio Samuels reflects on a valuable lesson he’s learned in his career – Don’t go hard all the time. Seems counterintuitive at first glance, but give it a quick read and you will understand how this realization can actually make you more productive:

When I was at Johnson & Johnson my boss used to tell me I had one major problem: I always gave 100% to every assignment. I remember being baffled as the words came out of his mouth. Who doesn’t want someone who gives 100% every time? Giving my all each and every time I stepped on the court was a part of who I was. It made me special. It made me valuable.

And all of a sudden I was being told to gauge the amount of effort required for an assignment and only deliver what was necessary. There were times where he wanted to trade off on my best for speed. Give him C+ work in 15 minutes versus A+ work in a day. There were assignments where he wanted me to go easy on a certain deliverable so that it did not interfere with a more critical assignment I was working on at the same time. Give him C+ work so that I could have more to time to ensure I deliver A+ work on a high profile assignment.

And that’s when I learned: everything doesn’t need your best. Your powerpoint presentation doesn’t always have to be perfect. Your clothes don’t always have to be 100% wrinkle-free. Your blog posts don’t always have to be flawless.

Time is a fixed variable. Once you use it, you lose it. Identify the things that don’t need you to be amazing, so you can have more time and give your best energy to the things that do. Like your wife. Or your prayer life. Or that major deal that will get you that promotion.

Life is full of a bunch of stuff; everything is not equal in value. Don’t let the insignificant things steal from the things that matter.


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