This week I did a 5 minute talk about some of my take aways from this year’s Web Directions at a Fenders meetup. You’d be surprised how much work goes into putting together a 5 minute talk, and yet it’s aboslute no surprise that I left the much needed preparation to the very last minute. As it would seem, I learnt nothing from my reflection about my design talk earlier in the year.
All things considered, the talk did go okay. It definitely needed some more polish but I got through it and I made the points I wanted to make despite stumbling through some of the final explanations. Giving in to my inner perfectionist (who I try very hard not to indulge), I was bothered by my lacklustre presentation for a few days until I just simply got over it.
The thing is, I didn’t leave my preparation to the last minute because I was procrastinating. I left it because unfortunately, on my list of priorities during this very demanding week, it fell very much into the lower category. It sounds a little bit like an excuse—and maybe it is—but it is also the truth. Naturally, as the night of the presentation got closer and closer, the presentation’s preparation’s priority increased. The talk’s preparation didn’t even reach the top of the priority list the night before and it was even straining to get to the top when I finally decided to sit down and do it a few hours prior to the meetup.
What I learnt from this is that sometimes our self-assigned priorities only allow us to invest certain amounts of physical and mental effort into things. As such, we should respect that the results that will always parallel the effort we’re able to put in. Sometimes the effort will be plentiful and sometimes it will be minimal. Whatever amount of effort, we should always make peace with the results quickly, knowing that we’ve always been in control of the the potential results.
This leads me to one other thing…
Perhaps the things we aren’t able to invest 100% effort into are things we shouldn’t take on. It’s only fair to everyone.
Ultimately we decide what is least important and most important. As we do so, we assign priorities to certain things. Sometimes assigning something a lesser importance and a lower priority will mean that it doesn't receive the amount of attention and effort as it should, even if it deserves it. There are two things that come from this, either be at peace with the results you receive as a result of the effort you are able to put in, or reassess the amount of responsibility you take on.