The other day I saw a phrase on the internet I had never seen before, “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”
At first I thought this was like a parody or the lazy man’s version of “anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”
However, as I thought about it and saw the person who posted it explain it, my perspective changed, and now it’s a phrase that I’ll definitely be using.
See, the phrase is misleading because when it says “poorly,” it doesn’t mean the quality of the work, but the amount of work done. The phrase really correlates to another one, “eating the elephant one bite at a time.”
To explain it simply, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing it no matter how little you can get done.
Let’s take cleaning the house as an example. If you want to clean the house and it’s worth doing, then it’s fine if you don’t finish it in one day. Let’s say you complete about 10 percent that day. That would definitely constitute a “poor” job done since it isn’t finished, but it’s a start.
If you keep doing this thing that’s worth doing “poorly” then in 10 days, you’ll have the job done if you keep up the same pace. If something is worth doing, then doing it, even if it’s just a small amount, is worth doing because you’ll be better off for it.
Want to work out but you really just don’t have the energy today? Then just do your workout “poorly” and run or only do one set. You’re still better off even doing it “poorly” than not doing it at all because you’ve gotten exercise that day, and that’s the crux of this phrase.
This phrase is not about giving you a way out of doing things, but making you realize that if something is really worth doing, your life will be better off even if you can only do a little of it at a time.
If I’m being honest, I even like it better than the elephant phrase because it’s an even less intimidating phrase. “Eating the elephant one bite at a time,” is a great motivational phrase, but you’re still recognizing the elephant in the room. Sometimes it’s easier to the mind instead of calling whatever it is you’re doing an “elephant,” to just do the job “poorly” and keep doing it like that.
Either way, this phrase is one that I have already locked away in the memory banks for later use because it just, surprisingly, works. I encourage other people to use or at least try to use the phrase, I think the results will be surprising.
Justin Blowers is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are his own and not the opinion of the paper. He can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.