Our personal challenge for August was simply for me to get to work earlier. Reading through the article I specifically said “earlier,” but internally, I wanted to get there at 8:00 AM most days. I didn’t state it because I knew it was going to be a tough task but figured that I would get there at 8:00 most days.
Erin was not a part of this since she doesn’t work anymore (outside of the home that is) and she is now a stay at home Mom (lots of work) who happens to be 8 months pregnant at the time. She had more than enough to focus on so I took the opportunity to work on something myself I wanted to improve.
Now, before I get into the results I want to step back for a moment to talk about our personal challenges in general. I’ve debated about whether people are interested in me providing a recap on these personal challenges that we do each month.
Initially, I did recaps but they didn’t seem as popular until we wrote about how we managed to spend less than $300 a month on food for the 2 of us and our 1 year old son. I can understand why that was popular but sometimes we do them and sometimes we just don’t feel as though there is much to say beyond the original post.
I do think it is important to either share what we learned and/or be honest about how it went. We aren’t interested in presenting this perfect façade that whenever we set our mind to something that we always achieve our goals. That is far from the truth as we still feel as though there is so much personal development to occur with each of us (although my wife is perfect – love you honey ;-)) .
So, how did I do? Well, I’d love to say that I performed well and was at the office at 8:00 AM most days but that just wasn’t the case. I did make an adjustment and got in earlier but not once did I get there at 8:00 AM. The earliest might have been 8:10 AM. Now, I did improve my average time by a good amount but I literally did not achieve my internal goal once. Out of 23 working days I failed every day.
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
Well, I can arrive at a series of excuses but I think I just wasn’t focused enough or just didn’t care.
If I didn’t have anything forcing me to be there at 8:00 AM then what was my incentive for being there at 8:00 vs. 8:10? I probably needed to find a bigger ‘why.’ If you think about it, 8:00 is a bit arbitrary but you need to have some sort of point of reference to go by and 8:00 is an industry standard.
Another thought is that I did this challenge on my own. Maybe if we had done it together that would have increased the personal responsibility. I know that has been important in other months and it certainly has been beneficial when working together on our finances. At the end of the day though I am an adult and really shouldn’t need my wife to tell me I need to leave earlier.
My last thought is that by not committing to a specific time in my original post was I self-sabotaging? Maybe if I had stated a time then I would have been held more accountable or it would have given me less leeway to waver. As I’ve written before, sometimes you just have to draw the line. For whatever reason, I just didn’t do it this month.
DON’T LET PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF GOOD
Now, this month was far from perfect but I do feel good about the fact that I did make a big improvement. If you think about it, this could be a great stepping stone to achieving my goal in the future. Why let my progress stop here?
I’ve been think a lot lately about the idea of failure and how it can be a good thing because it lets you know what doesn’t work. If I pay attention there are things that I can learn from this and work to remedy them in the future.
Overall, this was the weakest month of our personal challenges but there are always new months ahead to keep on improving.
Lance @ My Strategic Dollar
I use to get into the office between 6am-7am depending on what was going on that morning. I found that it was just silly. I manage a team of people and they didn’t get in until between 7am-9am so I was just there to be there. I found that grabbing some coffee at home and reading, writing, checking emails, etc or working out then going in at 9 was a far more productive use of my time.
Yeah, if you have the flexibility to get in later then it is a great way to optimize your time. Unless I have a meeting I do have that opportunity but I guess I keep thinking about how the sooner I start on my work the sooner I get home. Of course, when I am at home in the morning I get to see my family so it isn’t as if I will see them less or more. Maybe it is about optimizing my time in the morning to feel productive and then get into the office at a comfortable time.
Mrs. Picky Pincher
Well hey, great job getting your stepping-stone goal accomplished. 🙂 When I hear the phrase “get to work early,” though, I picture it being at 7 am. I think if you get to work early, there needs to be a reason. Maybe that’s your quiet hour to check email and compile a to-do list without interruptions.
Yup, that is exactly the benefit of getting in early and I agree, that does not mean getting in at 8:00 which is why I wanted to change my patterns. The nice part of being in early or let’s say earlier than most everyone is that it helps you to feel like you are getting a head start. Now, if you are waiting on people then that can be a problem if you are being held up from doing your job. I would love to get in at 7 or 7:30 but I just don’t know if I’ll ever get there.
Improvement is still good and that is what I’ve measured meeting most of my life goals though It does take longer to meet them. One way to get to work on time is to be told that your starting time is 7:00 a.m. or whenever. That does the trick!!
Yes, I need to start aiming for 7:00 so I can get there at 8:00. The funny thing is that on September 1st I had a deadline that day at noon. I planned on getting in at 7:00 which would have surely got me there before 8. Lo and behold I got there at 8:15. I was a bit annoyed but able to finish my tasks before the deadline anyways.
For Dear Husband’s job, he has to have moments of deep concentration, but he’s in a cubical-type setting. Getting in one hour before anyone else and two hours before everyone else gives him that quiet time. That’s his motivation. For my job (I’m mostly retired now), working with athletes, getting there early means I’m enthusiastic about their goals and progress, so that’s my motivation. I think making an improvement, Kevin, is an accomplishment to be celebrated. Like you said, improvement is good; good doesn’t have to mean perfect. So YAY for you!
I like the personal challenge reports. I hope that you will keep doing them.:-)
Thanks for the feedback on the personal challenge reports. I think one reson why I struggle with getting out earlier is that I do enjoy my time in the morning with the family and like not being rushed out the door. It is more on my terms. Of course, when I get in earlier I like that as well. I guess it just kind of depends on my mood.