The Autodidacts

Exploring the universe from the inside out

Why It’s Worth Doing Things Properly

I like to get things done fast.

I’ve gradually learned, however, that trying to get things done fast can be self-defeating. There’s a balance. If I work too fast, I make mistakes. And mistakes slow things down. A lot. They mean things have to be redone, they are demoralizing, and can cause a concatenation of problems.

I find it’s often pretty easy to tell what the proper way to do something is — be it a graphics design, an article, a random project, or even a visit with a friend. But sometimes I talk myself out of doing it that way because of time pressure, or having other things I’d rather be working on.

But I’ve learned that, along with saving time and energy in the long run due to better quality work and fewer mistakes, doing things properly is one of the key ways to make a project enjoyable and fulfilling. As well as the satisfaction gained while working on it carefully, there’s something different about looking at the results of a project done well, and knowing you went the extra mile, rather than just doing the bare-minimum necessary.

Sometimes, efficiency is inefficient. So here’s to taking the time to do a good job of the things we choose to do, and finding joy in both the present moment while doing them — and also the long-game results of good quality, lasting work.