I’m not a maker. I’m not a builder. I’m not a handy person and I don’t get much satisfaction from working with my hands. As a result, I’ve never learned how to make stuff well.
Or perhaps, it’s the other way around – I’ve never made anything well enough to get into being a maker.
At any rate, there is that saying “Measure twice, Cut once”.
When it comes to the physical world, this is a challenging proposition for me. My idiom is “Measure never, cut forever”.
This strategy works best in some situations. Writing a blog? Doing some sales calls? Stopping to measure progress and check quality can kill momentum. The Resistance1 is always waiting for the moment you slow down so that it can attack. On some tasks it’s best to keep going forward and don’t stop to double check things to a high level of detail. Close enough is good enough. Take the “B” and move on.
But in other situations measuring matters a lot.
It turns out that if you are building a room, ALL the measurements matter. ALL of them.
It’s hard for me to go from a “get it 80% good” mindset to a “get it 100% good” mindset.
So I ended up buying a lot of things from Home Depot that I wouldn’t need if I just measured twice.
On the other hand, I get a lot of blog posts drafted out if I don’t check my work twice constantly. I know I can go back later and get them up to a higher quality.
There is an optimal quality for every task. Considering this before you begin a task can save time, effort, and headaches.
1. By “The Resistance” I’m referring to Stephen Pressfield’s notion of “The Resistance”, the powerful force that keeps us from getting things done. He details this scourge and how to defeat it in his book “Do The Work” . It’s one of the most useful books I’ve ever read.