Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Do It Right the First Time

Sweeping the floor.  It's a pretty straight-forward task, in my opinion.  You either get the stuff off the floor or you don't. Pretty clear cut.

One of my kids (I've been learning a lot from my kids these days) hates (I mean, REALLY HATES) sweeping the floor.  I don't blame them, it's not my favorite task, either.  Their turn to sweep the floor came up today, and as they started, I noticed a little carelessness in the first few broom-strokes.  I saw a few things get missed.  Big things that shouldn't get missed (a napkin and a flip-flop!). I took a moment to put aside my "requirement" that these things should be obvious (see previous post, Requirements of the World), and I calmly, supportively explained that if you spend a little extra time and care the first time you do this (and any other) task, you only have to do it once, and that is way better than having to do this chore that you loathe more than once.  I did not immediately inspect it, but I walked through the kitchen a while later and stepped on some stuff that should have been easily caught in a thorough sweeping.  (Even in a not so thorough sweeping, but I digress.) So I called this child back into the kitchen to redo the work.

As I reflected on how it would have been so much easier on them if they had done the task right the first time, I thought about how often I find myself in the same boat.  There are things like this in all aspects of my life.  Things that I don't give proper attention to, or I don't devote enough time to.  I end up having to redo them at a less convenient time, or in a more rigid schedule (due to procrastination, for example). It's just harder when you do it this way.

No, there isn't a specific instance in my life that is currently making me think about this, but it happens all the time.  I really should do a better job at doing things right the first time.  Maybe then I could really pass that wisdom on through my example to my kids, rather than telling them one thing and then doing something different.

I think it was Joseph Fielding Smith that said "Do it! Do it right! Do it right now!"  Good words to live by.

One day I'll get it.

No comments: