You might remember when you were a high school student [as I do] trying to work out a revision system that helped you to maximise your chances of academic success.
I understood then that Straight-A students got into the habit of studying from day one.
Doing things at the last minute is a habit.
Once you get into the habit of doings things at the last minute, it becomes your mantra, you find that when you have enough time to complete and submit your assignment, or meet a deadline at work, your habits of doing it and submitting before deadline don’t kick in.
The biggest silent enemy is: “I have got time.”
You do things that delay you. or waste time on things that distract you from your deadline.
You wait until it is the last minute and then you run frantically to get assignment/work done before deadline.
When your assignment/work is rejected because of late submission, you sulk and want others to feel pity for you.
Exceptional performance is not a result of expending the most effort, trying to reach the summit in a single, spectacular leap.
The secret to being exceptional is in the small choices we make moment-to-moment.
The student who organises his notes from the very first lecture of the first semester.
The hotel receptionist who consciously makes every interaction meaningful from day one.
The athlete who pushes through the last three uncomfortable rounds over time.
The CEO who intentionally seeks out and acts on the wisdom of his team consistently.
The doctor who greets her patients warmly by shaking them by the hand everyday.
Ordinary people making small choices that incrementally make them exceptional.
Small, deliberate choices, made moment-to-moment, drop by drop, day to day, have a huge impact over time, not just on the work we do and the people we serve, but on our belief about what is possible.
If we want to be exceptional, we need to get into the habit of finding reasons why we must, instead of making excuses why we can’t.
You were not born a last minute person, you adopted last minutes habits and owned them, hence you call yourself a last minute person.
You can be an early minute person, if you want. It’s your choice.