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  • Leslie Tourish

Getting the Job Done

When you’re faced with the task of doing something difficult or creating something new, perfectionism can immobilize you. The grand image of your work in your mind may be beautiful, like delicate water droplets shimmering on a spider web at dawn. But then comes reality, a harsh morning sun, its scorching rays drying up your imagined magic.

Once you've overcome perfectionism and you find yourself working, your inner doubts may still be struggling. If allowed to fester, they can lead to a feeling of malaise, the sense that it’s all impossible.

What about other people who do great work despite their own heaping plate of problems? You may feel a twinge of resentment, jealousy, envy, or awe that this person found a way to succeed or create, in spite of their difficulties. They kept at it until they called it good enough. They had the grit to keep going, and they got the job done. Is that all it takes: just keep going? Can each of us do that too? Is it just a question of taking action?

Applying action to opportunity can be challenging and overwhelming. That's been especially true throughout the chaos of this past year. The pandemic, economic upheavals, political unrest, and many other problems have made it more difficult for most of us to feel focused or motivated. Many of us thought we’d accomplish all kinds of long-procrastinated projects, but instead found ourselves struggling to keep up with whole new to-do lists.

For those of us who find life getting in the way: it’s okay. Our daily struggles and successes keep reminding us that this too shall pass. Just keep surviving, and whatever your work is, allow it to give you direction and strength. We can take pride each day in our ability to focus our precious, limited energies to produce work we can be proud of, whatever it may be, and to view our work as something important.

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