The 2% Rule

How many times have you heard someone at work say, “Oh, I’m working on that.”  Might be a coworker whose part of the project is affecting the rest of the team or a teacher whose students are waiting (and waiting and waiting) for papers to be graded, and the students are wondering:  Will he ever get them done???  (a sentiment heard from my own students over the years more than once!)

True Story:

Recently, while working in my CWAV (Cubicle With A View)…. (I call it my ‘cave’, but admittedly, the view is pretty amazing!), I overheard this conversation:

B (Boss):                      Is _____ here? (looking into cubicle)

C1 (Colleague #1):     No, she’s out of the building, but she’ll be back this afternoon (we’re freqently out working with teachers in schools or in meetings)

B:                                  I wonder if she got XYZ done ……

C1:                                I know she’s working on it …..

B:                                  I know she started it. The question is, will she get it done?? (and with that, Boss walked away)

As this 15-second exchange takes place, I’m tapping away on the LTTRW (Lifeline To The Real World…otherwise known as my laptop!), finishing up something that probably has a drop-dead deadline, but stop mid-tap to think about what I just heard…..
You see, with some people, I’d have found nothing weird about what B just  said;  However, C2 (Coworker #2), the one in question, seems to  always hit her deadlines.  You can count on her No.Matter.What.  Yet, B questioned  whether she would  complete  said task….. Interesting. (and probably not an unusual question for a boss to wonder)
A few weeks later, I was reading The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes by Allyson Lewis, a book I reviewed briefly here.  Lewis presents actionable steps to improving your productivity in as little as seven minutes a day, which she says, will lead to BIG CHANGES (her emphasis). I don’t know about you, but anything that will support my productivity is a plus in my world!  🙂
In chapter six, Lewis describes the 2 Percent Rule, “common wisdom in the business community,” she writes, “that although many executives can move a project to 98 percent completion, only few actually finish the last 2% successfully” (p. 156).  Interesting! I suppose this is part of what distinguishes the successful from the ‘almost successful,’ or as Seth Godin calls it in Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable–Includes new bonus chapter, being remarkable
I think it’s worth saying again…..
*choosing*
to overcome the 2 Percent Rule
can set us apart ….
whether business, teaching,  flipping burgers, picking up trash, etc…., completing the task fully can set us apart.  And, it’s a conscious decision on our part.  Really? It’s that simple to be that remarkable??  Wow! 
Let’s stop and think about this for a minute….
Ask yourself: 
What am I currently working on?
How close to completion am I?
What will it take to move me to completing it?
How can I overcome the 2% Rule??
I find myself rolling this question around a LOT lately…. How about you? What will you do differently today?  
Have a wonderful Wednesday! 
Look for my first Friday Five this week:  Five Ways to Use  Social Media in Your Own Professional Development.      
~ Robin
Because learning is lifelong and boring is NOT an option!                 

Author: RobinLK

Robin is a lifelong learner, seasoned educator, writer, artist, and US Navy veteran. She writes and creates to quiet her noisy mind while trying to figure out this crazy thing called life. Some days, it's clear... other days, not so much!

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