Giving your best

It is mid semester where I teach. Students are juggling schedules of work, school, social life etc. I understand that there are many factors, some more demanding than others.

If you are in the midst of a flurry of activity and have a paper or report due, don’t just complete it and hand it in. If it isn’t your best effort, don’t hand it in. I have known the crunch of due dates and pull in several directions as various courses all seem to have assignments due simultaneously. Whether it is for school or work, give your best effort.

It may be easier to change due dates at school; simply speak with your professor; explain that you are swamped with assignments and are feeling overwhelmed and ask for an extra week. If it isn’t possible ask for an extra day or two so that you can not only complete your assignment but also have a chance to proofread it and polish it before you hand it in.

Admit it – If it was your fault in poor planning, admit it. Be truthful. Most professors will relate to you and it is most likely they will be generous and give you your request. Sincerity is the key. If you are lying or insincere, your professors will sense it.

Apologize – Literally learn a lesson from lack of proper time management or procrastination and explain it to your professor.

Accept a penalty – If the professor does not budge from his or her original due date, accept a late penalty but do your best. It would be better to hand in an assignment a day late with your best effort than to hand in a hurried, sloppy piece.

In the work place you must have strong discernment of these matters. If the due date is firm (it usually is in the work place) you must complete the presentation to the best of your ability. It must take priority in your life. You may have to cancel all other plans until the project is completed.

Some due dates in the workplace are more flexable than others. You will have to be wise enough to know if the date is firm or flexible.

Giving your best effort should be emphasized to yourself first – so that you can truly give your best. Also, letting your professors or employer know you want to give your best effort for the class or the job, will most likely give you the space of grace you need to help you complete it with excellence. Never let this happen without reflecting on what you could have done differently so that it could have been completed by the due date.

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