Compensating For Your Weaknesses

Whenever I hear that someone has finished a book, published a book, or is off to perform at an open-mic, I get jealous. I feel like I’m a stupid, talentless, lazy worm that talks a lot and produces nothing.

On the first day of fifth grade, everyone in my class received a homework planner. Each day had lots of space for us to write assignments, appointments, and other notes — and have room left over for stickers. From the moment I popped that sucker into my TrapperKeeper all the way through college, I’ve relied on planners. I still slice off the upper right corner so I can thumb directly to the page I need.

My memory sucks. If I don’t have a planner, I don’t know what day it is.

I’ve gone through lots of other planners of varying sizes, colors, formats, school-year, calendar-year, spiral bound, thread-bound, plastic-covered and gold-tipped. Sadly, I haven’t been able to reconcile the size of the planner with the size of a pocket. I really enjoyed Lauren’s blog post that mentioned keeping a writing kit. I built one that includes printed critiques, a notepad, a black pen, a red pen, a highlighter, business cards and sticky notes.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how lazy or talented you are. It doesn’t matter how good your memory is. You are how you are, and there’s no shame in that. The key to success is identifying your weaknesses and putting systems in place to help you work around them.

Cowards make the best tacticians — they don’t want to die.
Lazy people are the most efficient — they don’t want to work hard.

Think about what you want to accomplish. Think about what’s in the way. Now… consider what it would take to never have to worry about that obstacle again.

Efficiency is intelligent laziness.”
― David Dunham

A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.”
― George S. Patton

Get on it.



6 thoughts on “Compensating For Your Weaknesses

  1. Brian C. E. Buhl

    I’ve been telling people for a long time that the best programmers are lazy, because they’ll figure out how to get a task done in the fewest lines of code, and they’ll try to do it in such a way so that they won’t have to ever touch it again.

    I’ve also been fighting my weaknesses, but I usually use routine and knowledge of my habits, rather than a notebook. I’ve always wanted to be organized enough to use a planner, but I’ve never been able to make it a habit.

    1. Setsu Post author

      That’s the trick — finding a habit that works for you and sticks. Phone alerts are another one, but they just don’t hack it for me.

      Getting a buddy to keep me accountable for something works really well also.


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