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Why You Shouldn’t Judge Something that You Do it Once Only

Why You Shouldn’t Judge Something that You Do it Once Only

Meet Harry. He has just bought a smart phone and he is enthusiastic about it. He has read so many great reviews on the Internet about it that he wanted to get one too.

He goes home, unwraps the product box and starts to charge his phone’s battery. After a couple of hours, Harry is ready to start using the phone and get rid of his old one.

Except…there is a problem.

Harry turns the phone on, but after testing it for 30 minutes, he has already made an opinion of his new phone: it’s the worst phone he has ever had and it’s very difficult to use.

In fact, he decides to take his old phone back to use, and to go to the phone store and return his new phone where he bought it from.

Yes, he has made his opinion about the new phone and he is not going to touch the piece of junk anymore.

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Also, he decides to call his friends and warn about that particular phone model – that it’s faulty and they shouldn’t buy it either.

Harry feels upset and annoyed because of this phone episode.

Superficial and too quick

The situation that Harry faced wasn’t anything unique – it happens every day. And no, I’m not just talking about returning a smartphone back to where it was purchased from – I’m talking about the bigger picture.

The big picture is that people tend to judge something too fast – by testing or experiencing something only once.

Unfortunately, even this brief experience gives people enough confidence to claim that they know what they are talking about, even though they have only scratched the surface of the matter.

Testing and doing something only once is only going to give you a superficial experience at best, so shouting and complaining (or in the opposite, endorsing something) is not a reasonable strategy to follow.

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Why we don’t have the patience of experiencing the thing thoroughly – and only then telling others our opinions about it?

Should Harry take an attitude check?

I’d start finding answers to Harry’s behaviour from his attitude.

He expects that everything should work smoothly from the get-go. When thing aren’t going like he wants, he decides to blame the situation – instead of looking at himself in the mirror.

Also, he should understand that in order to form a thorough experience of something, doing something only once is not enough. It takes more time to get the proper experiences and only after that is it  reasonable to form an opinion about it.

Finally, the internal resistance is preventing him from testing the device any further. Once the opinion of that phone is formed, there isn’t any way to change his opinion.

Surely the phone isn’t getting going to get any better, no matter how much it’s tested. At least this is how Harry thinks.

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Give enough time to see how things turn out

When you are facing a situation like Harry did (with a phone or with anything else), take a different route than what he did.

Make sure to test the new thing/thought/concept long enough, so that you can have a comprehensive experience about it – before judging or endorsing it. Don’t just do it once and say that a thing did or didn’t work.

When you have a proper experience of something, only then do you really know what you are talking about.

It’s also worth remembering that even if the thing doesn’t work for you, it can work well for someone else. The way you experience something can be totally different from someone else’s situation.

Finally, when testing and experiencing the new thing/concept, measure the benefits and disadvantages in your daily life. This way you can give an honest view to yourself (and other people) about the matter – instead of forming an opinion too fast.

My “Don’t Judge Too Fast” blueprint for Harry and the rest of us”

Remember these key points until making your final opinion about the matter:

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  1. Take time. Don’t just try something only once in 30 minutes like Harry did. Instead, spend more time with a thing – on a continuous basis – and then form your opinion. The time spent in testing the thing/concept depends naturally on what you are testing, but it could be anything from a couple of days to weeks, sometimes to even months.
  2. Be patient and persistent. Understand that forming a comprehensive enough experience about something takes time. That’s why you need patience and must be persistent, until you can finally form your opinion.
  3. Measure the results. Do you know how this new idea/thing/concept has improved your life? Or did it decrease the quality of your life? After some testing, you start to see the benefits and disadvantages. Only after that can you weigh both sides and decide what you feel about the thing.
  4. It’s only your experience. When telling others about the matter, make sure to let them know this was just your experience of it. We are all individuals and our requirements differ. What might not work for your, can work for someone else.
  5. It gets easier every time. The more you spend time with the thing/concept, the more familiar and comfortable you’ll become with it. This means that the negative opinions you had in the beginning might be already forgotten, since you see things differently now.
  6. Share your feedback. If you form a negative view on the matter – even after extensive testing – let the source know about it, so that further improvements can be made.

For instance, if there is an issue with your laptop, let the manufacturer know about it so that it can be fixed. Or, if you think that a certain piece of software would be easier to use after a small tweak, send the developer some e-mail and explain the situation.

Too many times we tend to judge something too fast. Sometimes we might test the thing only once and we are ready to form an opinion about it.

Unfortunately, this is not a proper strategy to follow and instead, you should be willing to spend more time with the thing or idea, until you can objectively say if it’s good or bad.

Take some time to experience the thing thoroughly. Only after that, let others know what you think about it. And even then, emphasize the fact that this is only your experience about the topic.

Over to you: How do you make sure you aren’t judging something too fast?

Featured photo credit: American football on field via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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