I’d like to talk about failure. Failing tasks can be embarrassing to the individual but more importantly it can cause severe problems, especially at work. I’d like to show you that failing a task doesn’t have to mean the end of the world, in fact, good can be taken from the whole event which ultimately leads to a better solution all round…

In a post last month I made the promise to write 1 post every 2 days for 30 days. The deadline I set ends in 2 days time, and in 28 days I have written 5 posts (including this one!) I think its pretty safe to say that I will not be completing my stated task. Fail! Failure is bad because not only does it not achieve what was required to fulfil the task, it also discredits the person in the future for the capacity to execute future tasks. Would I trust myself to write 15 posts in 30 days starting from tomorrow? Could I expect anyone else to trust me to do it?

The task was failed but does that mean you are a total failure? Can’t anything be taken from this failed task. Yes! Not only can something good be taken from this failed promise, but I believe something even better can be found…

The point of a post process review is to discover what went wrong, and how to learn from the experience so that similar failures don’t occur again. The first step is to ask questions:

Why did I want 15 posts written in 30 days?

To get more on the site, having 15 posts more would treble the amount of content and therefore provide a relatively quick way of bolstering content and hopefully traffic to the site.

Is this a reasonable request?

This answer to this is debatable. It is certainly possible for at least one person on Earth to provide this and I believed I could have been one of them. Unfortunately, other constraints on my life prevented me from spending the full time I required to complete this task. Certainly I could have spent my free time completing such a task, but it would be at the expense of other, possibly more valuable, promises which were not delivered.

What is the outcome of the failure?

In this case, the failure to complete this task has little consequence. Though it is impossible to tell what would happen if I had more content on this site, perhaps I would suffer the loss of insight in my life for not articulating more thoughts.

By answering these questions I have thought of some conclusions for the outcome of this task. The goal was rather far-fetched considering my relevant experience. My lack of experience did not allow me to accurately predict time required for writing.

So how can I avoid such short comings in the future? Well the first step is to not accept such unreasonable requests! The request may be doable by some people but it was not by me at that point. The next stage is to try and work on making that goal attainable. For me that is the combination of working on freeing up enough available time and working more on my writing skills.

In addition, I have researched and found opinions on what makes a good blog and one response was to post regularly to maintain readership. This may not require a large blast of posts in a relatively short time but rather a consistent line of timely posts. So the best solution to solve the original request would really be work on a continuous strategy, not a quick fix or short burst.

When thinking about situations in every day life and work, the possibility of failure is always present. Different scenarios carry different levels of possibility of passing and different levels of severity if failed. Its always good to consider different outcomes, even if they are unfavourable. Doing this as early as possible will help to avoid major catastrophes. For example, if you need to drive to the airport for a trip but your car seems to be acting up recently, then it may be good to take the car in to get repaired. Perhaps also investigate other methods of travel, e.g. Taxi or bus. Then again, if you miss the trip because the car wont start, then the next time I’m sure you would learn your lesson and make sure you know the bus timetable!

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