Friday, February 19, 2010

Haste really does make waste.

I've been pretty quiet, blogwise, this week. Too much work, not enough inspirational stuff happening or to say.

But today it hit me that I've been getting lessons at work that I can so very easily apply to other areas in my life. Specifically, the concept of doing things right the first time.

You'd be amazed at how much time it takes to correct mistakes or ommissions when you're putting data into a computer system. It may seem simple, just typing in names and addresses for 8 hours a day, and in some respect, you're right. Assuming, of course, that all the information's there.

If it isn't, then I have to take extra steps to make sure it gets into the system.

It may seem a trivial thing to leave out your postal code (or zip code, for you USians) when filling in your address, but consider that when you do so, the time it takes for the data entry agent to go online and look it up will take more than twice as long as it takes you to write it down in the first place.

And while they're looking up your missing information, there's more time before they can move on to the next entry.

Or perhaps longer before they can move on to your entry because they're busy finding info for other people.

This isn't my way of nagging people to be complete when filling out forms (though you should be, really). This is my way of comparing that to the rest of my life. If I take a little bit of extra time to do things right in the beginning, then it saves time in the end. Even if the time saved isn't my own, the overall process runs more smoothly because I did what I was supposed to do.

Whether it's in regards to recycling, finding a job, keeping my apartment clean, or any number of other things, I'm going to try to really focus on this lesson. It's been drilled into my head over the past two weeks, and it's not a bad lesson to be drilled on. It's like what I was saying the other day, about how it's a lot of trouble to clean up the accumulated messes in my apartment. I did things wrong the first time, and now it's a lot of trouble.

But if I'd been more diligent, done a little bit of work then, I could have saved myself a lot of work now. It's a humbling lesson as well as a profound one.

I just regret that it actually took me this long to properly learn it.

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