There’s a lot to be said about doing your research up front. Heck, even writing a blog I think up the topics ahead of time, do research, and mentally plan at least a day before (sometimes…hopefully…more).
Remember the first time behind the wheel when 30 felt like 1000? Remember hitting the brakes on the gentlest of curves? Now amplify that with having to learn the rules of the road at the same time.
There’s a reason why they separate the two. There’s learning and then there is applying. You have no time to Google who goes first at a four-way when you’re already at the stop sign. If you are, you’ve already failed because using your phone at all is surely page 1 or 2 of the new driving manuals.
We’re terrible multi-taskers. It’s an impossible feat. Our brains physically just do one thing at a time.
After a recent bout with the flu, of which I am finally recovering from, I had some opportunities to reflect. Between amassing a kleenex pile worthy of it’s own gravitational pull and mind-numbing headaches, I realized sometimes we need to take a step back.
There is a constant ebb and flow of learning and doing and we need to allow time for both. At Brandcouver we tout logo design without guesswork because we are listeners and planners. We are learners. Having as much information as possible upfront is imperative to good work.
It also happens to be our personalities. But sometimes it stagnates us. Personal projects can come to a complete standstill or fail to launch at all because we are too busy learning and planning.
Ironically, I needed the flu to make me take a step back from doing to realize this.
Last year we planned our own wedding. As you might imagine, it involved stop motion, 3d printing, sewing, baking, painting, a logo, woodwork, and a host of other projects a wedding might incur. There was only one way it would all get done.
For months we were stuck in the planning and thinking mode. The only reason we could flip the switch to doing was an impending deadline.
Once we were in doing mode, we were full tilt to the finish. Equipped with all of the knowledge of how to execute the only thing left was to execute despite little or no experience in many of our projects—just knowledge.
This is what we call learning on the fly. It’s application of knowledge and finding out for yourself how it works and if it works the way you’ve learned.
But I think a lot of businesses might get this concept mixed up.
The opposite of stagnating because of constant learning is crashing and burning faster because you don’t know how to drive the car.
It’s running before you can walk. It’s starting a restaurant without having a rough idea how they run.
Being stuck in doing mode may feel like you are accomplishing more but it may mean you are revving your engine and going nowhere. By taking a moment to learn beforehand you would know the car needs to come out of neutral.
Whether you are a learner by nature or a doer, try the reverse role. Spend a week only doing or only learning. It is only in the balance will you find you are most effective in every endeavour.
And set a deadline. As Napoleon Hill famously said, “Goals are dreams with a deadline”.