After many days, I encountered a familiar problem at work.
Clients pushed me hard to get some work done a few days ago, and I managed to finish it off in time - but not to my satisfaction.
Today, I receive a mail asking if the work has been done. After 3 full days of me sending the completed work to them.
If they had 3 days to waste, why did they not tell me before? I could have come up with something better.
The pressure to complete work forced me to finish it off mechanically. No thinking about how to improve it, no thoughts about how to convey the message in a better way. I just did what was required to get it over with.
We do it when we are pushed to the extreme, I guess. Instead of giving it our best, we tend to do whatever that is required to push it off our table as soon as possible.
But, even the shortest amount of time available can be used effectively to do better work. We do that if we care about the work, I guess.
Going through the motions is OK in some cases; but if it becomes the only way of working, then we'll be the losers.