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The dilemma between quality and time

Updated: May 25, 2022

This week I struggled with the balance between preparing really well and time. Yesterday I had an exam for a course in Executive Coaching. I had to prepare a presentation, a reflective essay, and I needed to demonstrate my coaching skills. I used a lot of hours to prepare. Meanwhile I felt pressure to do other things. I wanted to do well on the exam, of course! But I also wanted: send this newsletter (wanted to do that on Wednesday), post on social media, and have network conversations. That brings another element in the mix: money. If I only focus on preparing for that assessment, I don’t earn money in my business! The dilemma is: How to divide time, quality and money? What I experienced this week is the devil's triangle. The concept has its origin in project management.

I felt responsible to combine all elements perfectly. Also in my former jobs, I wanted to do my work with the best quality. And I wanted to do that in very little time. And, of course I wanted to stay within the budget that was available for the project. This triangle is called a dilemma. In a perfect world, we combine this all together! But. That’s often not possible. When there is little money for something, it is going to affect the quality. When you want absolute top quality, it’s going to take time. I learned: I don’t have to be the one with the magic solution. I don't have to feel guilty when I don't combine time, quality and money perfectly. Everyone has this dilemma! It’s just life! What does help is: define a scoop. This week I chose quality. And I have to say, I am very, very satisfied with how the assessment went! And I could do some other things, so I was quite proud. At the same time, I felt guilty about the rest of the stuff I didn't do. My learning for next time: choosing even more clearly up front.

  • Do I want top quality for my exam? Cool, then the other stuff comes next week. Let it go now.

  • Do I really want to do other business stuff this week? Perfect, then I will put less hours in the assessment.

Result: rest and focus. What will be your scope next week?

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