Speed of implementation and why you should apply things faster

December 22, 2013

Note to reader: No teddy bears were harmed in the making of this post. And he has nothing to do with this post, he’s just cute that’s all. Taken in a soap shop in Tai Chung, Taiwan.

I heard from a motivational speaker about the concept of speed of implementation. This idea revolves around how fast you implement a possible solution to your problem when you find it and successful people generally do this very fast. For instance if you are overweight and you read up how to lose weight one day, then one year later you actually begin to lose weight, your speed of implementation there is 1 year.

Speed of implementation is not about right or wrong, which means that you might implement a solution that doesn’t work. But the faster your speed of implementation, the quicker you realise it doesn’t work and you can move onto another solution. Think of it as creating multiple MVPs (minimum viable products) for multiple startup ideas you have. The faster you implement, the quicker you can throw the bad ideas away and concentrate on the idea that gained some traction.

This concept also works in conjunction with not being afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn and we need to be unafraid of failing and making mistakes so we can keep learning. And the faster we make those mistakes, the better, so we can concentrate on the most effective solution.

I would think if your speed of implementation is too quick, then it might be too impulsive, but generally being faster and making those decisions faster will generally make you grow faster. Even the small decisions.

This concept is quite abstract, but I feel it relates quite heavily to a mixture of motivation and confidence. If you have no motivation to do something, such as the task having no obvious benefit to you, it will be very difficult for you to implement it at all, let alone quickly. Secondly if you have no confidence in achieving the task, it also be very difficult to start implementing quickly.

Another way to look at it is with learning languages. Every word you learn is a solution to a problem. The faster you use that word in a real word situation the faster you’ll learn that word. If you don’t use it. You’ll forget it. Simple as that.

In Chinese there’s an idiom 學以致用 (xue2 yi3 zhi4 yong4) which describes people that have a fast speed of implementation. There’s also a phrase in Chinese that has the same meaning 現學現賣 (xian4 xue2 xian4 mai4). The idiom means to apply your knowledge, or to use what you know as soon as you’ve learnt it. The phrase is much more direct and means to sell it as soon as you’ve learnt it (There is a phrase with an identical meaning 現學現用, which translates to use it as soon as you’ve learnt it). I’ve found this one of the best ways to learn languages, for two reasons. As above I’ve stated that if you use it immediately you can throw away the methods that don’t work. Well in language, there is nothing that is useless, so anything you use right away is going to stick faster than something you just record and never come back to again. And although all vocabulary is good vocabulary in language, there are certain situations where you can use certain words and certain situations when you can’t. If you use it now you can get a feel for how that word is used in context and if it’s appropriate for this kind of social situation.

And when it comes down to it, if you implement things faster, you won’t forget to do it, use it or implement it, because once you’ve thought of it, you’re doing it already. It’s like reading a cookbook whilst cooking the dish. You don’t have to know everything as soon as you’ve started, you can learn along the way.

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Distilling the complicated into the simple. And sometimes general wonderings. Follow me on twitter