One of the most annoying things is having to repeat work that has already been done because it wasn’t done right the first time. How many times have you had to repeat something because someone on your job did not do it right the first time? How much extra time did it take? How much extra energy did it take?
Growing up my dad would tell me, “Wash the dishes right the first time and you won’t have to do them again… Sweep right the first time and you won’t have to sweep again.” It makes sense logically, but when you are in the midst of doing the task it’s so tempting to do it quickly, take shortcuts, and get it done as fast as possible.
This is the great temptation in business, relationships, and the pursuit of goals. Where can I cut corners? Where can I save timeand just get by?
I was recently talking to a friend who is remodeling his house and he is stripping things down to rebuild. His major frustration has been how the people who built it did it wrong the first time, they cut corners, didn’t stick to the plans, and the result is him having to go back and fix things.
So often, in the attempt to save time, money, and energy we end up sabotaging ourselves.
Solomon said in Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Diligence is intentional, it’s not sporadic energy thrown at a project. Diligence is focused. Like a laser hitting its target so diligence attacks a specific goal no matter how long it takes to accomplish it. Diligence is relentless, it works on something until it’s complete and whole. Diligence is willing to expend time, energy, and emotion in order to reach its mark with absolute integrity. Diligence leads to profit.
However, haste is foolish. Haste just tries to get the job done, it doesn’t actually look to fully complete it. Haste just tries to get by. Haste tries to get the greatness amount of profit with the least amount of work possible. Haste doesn’t care about the ultimate result, it cares about being able to move on to the next big thing. At the expense of quality haste wants to conserve energy, time, and emotion.
When you do things right the first time you ultimately save energy, emotion, finances, and resources in the long run. The temptation is to cut corners, but the only thing you will be cutting is your feet out from under you.
Whether you are building a business, team, marriage, family, or house it takes time, energy, and diligence. If you do it right the first time the foundation will always be strong. If you just trust to get by it will show and when it falls it will be far more costly to fix it the second time.
How has other people’s cutting corners affected you? Where are you tempted to cut corners?