Today I got an email from a friend asking me to translate a simple set of instructions for her. I translated the sign adequately so that there would be no confusion from reading the sign. Then, my friend, who was also on the email, translated the sign better. Then, he translated the sign again even better. Then, he sent an email apologizing because he’s at work and could do a better job translating because he’s just not satisfied with it.
To be clear, this was a sign stating when to check your kids in. This was simple, and getting this task done adequately would have the same effect as getting it done perfectly. This got me thinking about what needs to be done perfectly to the best of my ability and what just needs to get done in a timely and adequate manner.
For everyone, these tasks are different. For instance, I want to be a good cook. But I’m not trying to be a chef, and there’s a trade-off there. I could cook the best meal ever once a month, but that then everyone would be hungry the rest of the time. So I need to be a good cook, but not a wonderful cook.
Let’s put first things first. In the best ever section for me are: (Luisa) coding, writing, developing algorithms, math, presenting, coming up with new ideas, hardware implementations, relationships with important friends and family, personal health and for Ofu: writing, acting, social media, directing, networking, relationships with important friends and family, personal health.
Things that need to get done adequately: clean house, clean dishes, laundry, folding laundry, responding to not that important emails, translating simple signs, my hair every morning, nails, painting the house, mowing the lawn and grocery shopping. Mostly, it looks like chores and other auxiliary tasks to my important passions need to be done adequately, but not to the best of my ability. They need to be done quickly and efficiently, but I don’t need to create art with my laundry folding.
How about you? Do you have a list of your priorities? Do you have a list of things that just need to get done adequately? How does this help you focus?