First You Get Good

When I first started driving, I was doing local deliveries of auto parts for new car dealerships. I was a rookie, fresh out of driving school, and they turned me loose in a 5 ton to figure stuff out. The first couple of nights were rough. I was slow and disorganized, but as a person who has always been interested in both process and iterative learning, I began to refine my system. The tweaks were small at first. How I put my cages in. How I bundled my loose pieces. Where I put my pump truck. These were all small improvements to my system that cumulatively made me more efficient. I was always thinking about this as I was working and, over time, my speed began to pick up. I didn't have to hunt for things. I coud reach my hand without thinking and grab exactly what I needed. First, I got good, then, I got fast.

I'm going through the same process with AutoCAD right now. I've used that software since, say, 1999 or so. I never really had the benefit of learning it at the hands of someone who used it every day. Now that I'm in class, I'm finding myself back in the habit of thinking about process. "What's the most logical end efficient way to do this?" is a frequent question I ask myself. I did a practice test the other day and on the first run, my time was over an hour. On the second run, I thought more about process and reduced that time to 40 minutes. The moves are coming back.

First, you get good. Then, you get fast.