Atelier Clockwork

Forging Yourself

Hammer, Fold, Repeat

I have a relatively simple process for improving my skills:

1. Plan

Define what it is that I want to do, and how I’m going to do it. Often this is the point where I get stuck, because I realize just how much infrastructure is needed.

2. Try

Just do the thing. Despite being the most work on the list, this is often the easiest step to complete on the list, because once the task is underway I don’t want to stop until I’ve finished a phase.

3. Evaluate

While I get stuck on the “plan” phase most often, this is the phase that probably costs me the most mental energy. Admitting that something I just put a huge amount of energy into isn’t perfect can be hard. Making a mental list of your missteps and mistakes is a bit demoralizing at times.

I’ve had several people ask me why I’m so hard on myself when I evaluate my accomplishments. The thing is, hammering on myself is how I improve. Without the honest, if slightly harsh, review process complacency and stagnation tend to set in.

4. Repeat

Go back to planning, use what you learned in the evaluate step to try to come up with a better course of action. Honesty is important here too, make reasonable plans for you can change the next time around.