Failure as Data

Posted Sunday, May 5, 2024 by Sri. Tagged TROPE

There are times when I'm stuck because I don't know the right way to do something or even where to start. This is common when doing something for the first time, or when there is the likelihood of being bad at it initially in a way that leads to potential embarassment.

In these moments, I remind myself that I can frame these tasks as experiments, and that even a failed experiment can yield meaningful data. This often leads to an immediate next step to confirm an emerging hypothesis or heuristic, which for me is really interesting.

A variation of this approach is timed experiments, where I merely just estimate how long a small first step of a tedious task will take and then do the task to see if I was right. Acquiring timing data through experimental appeals to my autistic brain, which likes to know how long things take before doing them and also feel like there are no invisible expectations being placed on me.

This feels more satisfying than vague tropes like practice makes perfect.

See Also