Quick Fixes

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

Michelangelo

If you’ve ever worked on software or a SaaS product (in any capacity—developer, manager, C-suite) you know how easy it is to solve short-term needs/problems (usually from the request of a client/customer) instead of spending time on what you actually want to do (aka make a great product).

Quick fixes work in a pinch. But if all we are doing is constantly relying on quick fixes, then we are just reacting to problems from the seat of our pants, versus making good decisions that erase the problems, to begin with.

That goes for products, business, and even for ourselves.

The thing is that quick fixes don’t address the real problem (the origin problem behind the other little problems). Instead, we solve short-term needs by delaying long-term solutions. And that leads to more fixes down the road (refactoring, as they say in computer science).

What we need to focus on instead is figuring out what kind of problem we are dealing with here.

First: Understand What the Problem is.

What kind of problem are you dealing with here?

Is this a money problem? A skill issue? Priority? Hubris? Fear? A mindset thing (…isn’t everything lol)?

For example, ignoring your money (or lack thereof) doesn’t fix your money problems (and neither does worrying about them either). Money fixes money problems.

But money doesn’t fix inner problems (like personality, attitude, relationships, and friendships).

Once you know what type of problem you are dealing with here, then the next thing to do is do what you have to make space for the long-term.

Next: Do the Easy and Immediate thing(s).

Not because quick fixes will solve all your problems. Rather, because you need to make some space so you can give time for long-term solutions.

What’s the easiest thing you can do right now that will help dissolve the problem at hand (or at least relieve some immediate stress around the problem)?

Do that immediately.

Low-hanging fruit is not always a bad idea. Value is one thing. But choosing difficulty for the sake of difficulty is unnecessary.

And after you’ve given yourself some breathing room:

Focus on Long-term Solutions.

Imagine a future where you weren’t dealing with X problem. It’s more than possible if you start focusing on creative solutions today. Even if that’s just 20 minutes a day. Or whatever you’ve got to give. Something is better than nothing. Because big problems are usually just things we put off when they were small weeds and not much to think about…at the time.

For example, buying oil for your car is nothing compared to having to fix an engine problem down the road (pun intended).

Small actions today prevent long-term problems tomorrow.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1387

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