That Little Something Extra

Thomas Friedman had a fantastic op-ed piece in the NY Times on October 23. While the article was entitled, The Election That Wasn't, there were several strong points made about the work habits we will need to have as we function in a global economy. His most intriguing idea to me was the idea of doing something "extra" in your job. Here's an excerpt from the article:

But just doing your job in an average way — in this integrated and automated global economy — will lead to below-average wages. Sadly, average is over. We’re in the age of “extra,” and everyone has to figure out what extra they can add to their work to justify being paid more than a computer, a Chinese worker or a day laborer.

The thought of adding "extra" to your already overworked schedule probably makes you want to scream, but it reaffirms what we talk about so often with Juggling Elephants. You can't afford NOT to get to what is most important. The stakes are too high.

The next time you are engaged in planning for your day or week, aggressively seek to delegate, delete or delay those tasks that don't offer maximum return on purpose. You simply must create room in your lineup to provide that something "extra." Go back to the circus metaphor for a moment. While you may remember the entire circus event as a positive one, It was probably one or two acts that REALLY exceeded your expectations-and created those lasting memories.

Fail to provide the "extra" in your job, and you may find yourself with a little "extra time" in your work ring or maybe needing a little "extra" to make it through the month.