A house of cards takes very little preparation to build but still requires particular intricacies for success. One wrong move and in less than a second the little structure can fold into a flat pile.

The same can be said for completing any task or project whether professional or private. Some steps must be followed to the letter or the project faces difficulty maturing.

Still, the recipe for success isn’t just about adhering to instructions but also how they are carried out.

Often, we tend to take on responsibilities which include both inspiration and drudgery in the same instance. Moments of inspiration are great but we can overextend ourselves and not bring enough to the more menial parts of our job, which is not the best management.

That’s why gaining insight into what does or doesn’t drive us at certain times can provide keys to filling the gap in fully achieving our goals. One great way to do this is learning from our mistakes, i.e. our experiences and past jobs.

For example, much like professional sports teams re-watch tapes of games, take a project you were involved in and as best you can from memory analyze it in depth. When doing this, consider the following:

1. Were you prepared?
• Preparation makes all the difference and reflects a lot on how well a project moves. Starting out smoothly doesn’t mean everything will be perfect but it’s a good sign. Adequate preparation means doing your research, understanding the goals, and being ready for the challenges ahead.

2. Did you have the right tools and materials?
• Like anything else, make a list of what you need. If it’s a home improvement job you need supplies; a research project, you need publications; a class, sources for your lesson. It might even be advice you are after. Frustrations arise when you didn’t ask all the questions you need for the report or have to run back to the store a second time when you could have had everything in front of you from the start.

3. Were you willing to delegate?
• If you were working as part of a team or even managing a team did you take too much upon yourself? Were you willing to trust others to carry out their assignments? If not, how can you better deal with this next time?

4. Where did the job flow? Where did it lag?
• As mentioned earlier, there are parts of jobs we enjoy and others we could care less about. Nevertheless both go together. When working on the former we have to reserve energy for the latter. Otherwise by the time we have to do the dirty work we’ll get burnt out and it will truly be messy.

5. Were expectations met?
• Not just your expectations but those of your employer or clients. Future assignments depend on this so ask yourself where it broke down? Don’t be afraid to clarify when things are unclear, as questions are tools for learning and building strong relationships.

These points can be applied to just about anything and teach you about your strengths and weaknesses. You can test them out privately or use them as an exercise in the office. The main thing to remember is to be real with what you find out about yourself and don’t let it get you down but direct you towards better management in your work.

Author's Bio: 

Jakob Barry writes for Networx.com, a growing community of users sharing and monitoring home improvement projects allowing homeowners and contractors to get the most from their resources. He covers various home improvement topics, including green landscaping and general contracting.