Tip #599: Making the Best Mistakes- Part Three

“I make mistakes; I’ll be the second to admit it.” Jean Kerr

According to Eduardo Briceno, the CEO of Mindset Works, there are four types of mistakes that are most useful in the learning process. These four mistakes are: stretch mistakes, aha-moment mistakes, sloppy mistakes and high-stakes mistakes.

This Tip will focus on the third type of mistake: sloppy mistakes, as described by Mr. Briceno:

Sloppy mistakes happen when we’re doing something we already know how to do, but we do it incorrectly because we lose concentration.

We all make sloppy mistakes occasionally because we’re human.

However, when we make too many of these mistakes, especially on a task that we intend to focus on at the time, it signals an opportunity to enhance our focus, processes, environment, or habits.

Sometimes sloppy mistakes can be turned into aha-moments.

[We may] make a mistake because we’re not focused on the task at hand, or we’re too tired, or something distracted us. [However,] upon reflection we can gain aha-moments on how to improve, such as:

  • realizing we’re better at certain tasks after a good night’s sleep, or
  • that if we silence our gadgets or close our doors we can focus better.”

Not surprisingly, I find that I make the most sloppy mistakes when I’m either too tired, too hungry, or too stressed when under a deadline.

If I’m lucky, I’ll realize this and either take a nap, have something to eat, or let go of the stress by accepting that I will do what I can and that will have to be enough. Unfortunately, my reflective moments often come much later, so they are of little use in the moment.

There is a saying: “I grow too soon old and too late smart.” Maybe after recognizing the fact that there are such things as sloppy mistakes and noting when I make them, I’ll grow a little smarter sooner!

May your learning be sweet.


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