The speed at which
the virtual world turns
for digital workers is
phenomenal. It moves
so fast in some
instances that it is
common, at least for
me, to lose sight of
what is always most
important — doing
the job well.
Part of my own nature is to keep busy. Making
such constructive use of my time and energy
often comes at a cost, however. It either won’t
look very good, or read very well, or some
valuable tidbit of information will be left
out — which will not provide an accurate
representation of the trend or idea I was aiming
Because of this restless energy, a trait that
I’ve repeatedly been told is shared by many,
things often turn out in a way that I did not
originally envision. And that is a problem. I attribute
this failing to a principle that was shared
with me some years ago. It’s called the “Fast,
Right or Pretty” principle, and I fear it has done
more harm than good in my professional life.
The principle is simple. When someone
wants you to complete a project, they can have
it fast, right and pretty — but they can only pick
two of the three. In theory, it’s brilliant and accommodating
to those with lots of work to do.
In the real world, it’s downright dangerous
when it comes to producing quality products
Several months ago I wrote a commentary
titled, The 168-Hour Work Week. You may
remember it, but in some ways I wish you’d
forget. I believed the concept of the article
was strong — that every hour you are awake
should be spent in support of your business
For example, if you decide to improve or enhance
your social profile, set aside time each day
to make some genuine connections. Or start exercising
because a healthy body leads to more
energy and more energy leads to greater productivity.
The concept was solid, but as a result
of a looming deadline it was necessary to be produced
hastily — even though I’d been ruminating
the idea for many months.
The result was, well, not exactly pretty. The
reason? I picked fast and right. Not pretty and
right, and not fast and pretty, but fast and right.
In the rush to keep pace in the digital
world, we’re forced to choose two of the three
— at least that’s the case if you abide by the
Fast, Right or Pretty principle. And that is
where the problems begin.
Choose fast and right and you risk alienating
those that place a premium on visual perfection.
Choose fast and pretty, and the most
detail-oriented will suddenly appear out of
nowhere to tell you just how very wrong you
are. Choose right and pretty and you’ll likely
miss your deadline and everyone will freak out.
Face it, you just can’t win with the Fast,
Right or Pretty principle. And you shouldn’t try.
What is most important in your professional
life is doing the job well and being confident
that in every case it’s right to do so.
So, take your time, do it right, and make it