Made A Mistake? Deal With It The Productive Way
Productivity has long since moved on from being about to-do lists and GTD to being almost a way of living. Basically, it’s about being organized, systematic and efficient in what you do and how you live, whether that be with coping when you feel down or – in the case of this post – learning from and resolving mistakes. I’ve often found that I learn more from getting something wrong than from anything a textbook or a bunch of lectures can give me. So why not apply a productive mindset to the experience and make the most of it? Below I’ve detailed my five steps to dealing with mistakes the productive way. Love to read your thoughts on this one!
- Identify your position
Ok, you’ve made a mistake but how serious is it? How much of it are you responsible for? This is not an excuse to shift blame or deny everything (though I’m not here to start preaching morals at you), but it is important that you gain a clear perspective on your mistakes. Most mishaps are rarely as bad as you imagine them to be.
- Take a positive attitude (if needed)
Screwing up can be embarrassing, painful and really hurt your confidence. A bit of self-pity isn’t necessarily a bad thing from time to time, but if it starts to affect how you function, it’s a big problem. Remind yourself that we all make mistakes and if you need to, following my three steps for controlling negative self-talk.
- Plan how to resolve it
Ok, you’ve made a mistake, you’ve accepted it and you’re not going to let it upset you. Now, how are you going to resolve it and move on? What steps do you need to take? Where appropriate, who do you need to apologize to and if necessary, whose ass do you have to kiss?
- Learn from it
Whether it be in work or in your personal life, making the same mistake over and over is a big no-no. Of course in the former case, you’ll likely get shouted at by your boss (or worse). In your personal life, the consequences aren’t often so clear. Whether you’ve got into debt on your credit cards again or yet another relationship has ended badly, learn the lessons so you don’t make the same mistakes again.
- Don’t dwell on it
Don’t turn mistakes into more of a negative experience than they need to be. Resolve it, learn from it and move on. It’s that simple. There is absolutely no justification for wasting more energy on something than you need to (and this goes for partners and bosses who keep reminding you of your mistakes weeks or months after the fact too).