Let’s talk about mistakes today. There are two different kinds of mistakes. The ones you make because you don’t know any better or lack experience. And then there are the ones you make because you weren’t paying attention or got distracted.
The first type of mistakes are important. They are the fastest way to learn. Don’t know how to do something? Read up on it, watch a YouTube video, or have someone explain it to you. Then go and try it.
Chances are you will mess up. You’ll make mistakes and that’s ok. You’re learning from each and every one of those. These aren’t the types of mistakes we’re trying to avoid. Make them often and get better fast.
The mistakes I’m talking about are the second kind. They are the kinds of mistakes that have you stop in your tracks and smack your forehead because you knew better. They are the easily avoidable mistakes and the best way to avoid making them is to slow down and think before you take action.
Don’t rush. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying of measure twice, cut once. This is what I’m talking about. Before you make a major decision or start a new project, take the time to slow down and think. Come up with a plan. Ask yourself if this is the best way to handle it. Then move forward.
Will you still make mistakes? Sure, but they will be fewer and less severe. As a result, you will actually make progress faster by slowing down.
You can’t avoid all mistakes and that’s ok. At some point, you’ll encounter something called the law of diminishing returns.
In the beginning, even slowing down a little will help you avoid a lot of mistakes. Down the road, you get to a point where spending another five days researching and contemplating may help you avoid one more, but it won’t be worth the extra time and effort. Be aware of this as you start to implement this slow thinking strategy.
For now, give it a try. Make it a habit to stop and think before you act. It’s not an easy habit to get into. Do your best and continue to get better at it. You’ll find you’ll make progress much faster and your productivity will be through the roof because you’re no longer wasting time backtracking to correct all those unnecessary mistakes.