Getting Dirty

Jun 2014

Sometimes the end justifies the means.<...>

I'm a neat freak. At least when it comes to my work. My workspace is generally tidy. My digital stuff is structured, organized and efficient. I'm obsessive about keeping clean inboxes and to do lists.

And that list goes on.

All of this supports my pragmatic nature, where I'm most efficient when I can plan and control most things. I've also found a great correlation between the efficiency and quality of my execution.

Yet lately I've completely let this slide. The best example is probably this photo of my workspace:

Dirty Desk

I'm ashamed to show you that... Especially given a few of the oddities there... The number of notebooks / -pads, two (empty and used) coffee mugs, a tape measure and Adii Jr's nailclipper.

This is the complete opposite to what I told you about the way I work earlier. But I've actually had one of the most productive patches of execution in my life in the last two months.

Thinking about why this has been the case, I'm reminded of two other principles that I actually hold dear.

The first being the notion that perfection doesn't exist and that it is rarely a good measure of how well I'm executing. Done is better than perfect, especially if there's no significant loss in quality.

The second being a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them. This is probably not the most efficient mindset when you're trying to get shit done. There's however a certain authenticity in accepting that sometimes the best route from point A to B is the least efficient.

Momentum is something I've written about before and the pursuit of momentum is one of the best things anyone can do if they want to get stuff done.

And along with that, accepting imperfections - which means getting your hands really dirty - means the focus is on execution and getting shit done. That means ticking off to do's and making progress.

Most significant things offers no easy way to accomplish them. And accomplishing those things is much more important than how you accomplished those things.

If you don't believe me, this is from Jason Calacanis:

"No one remembers how you got there, only that you got there."

So what are you waiting for? Get down 'n dirty.

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