JFDI — How a cheeky acronym can motivate you to do more

(Originally written for The Human In The Machine)

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a transition in the way I work.
As a web developer, I often hesitated on some bold moves. Either technical, logistical, even political reasons would impede my actions, often introducing further blockers. It was a cascading effect of delays; the longer you leave things, the worse they become, accumulating more and more issues alongside them.

I think one of the reasons for hesitation was down to confidence. I wasn’t entirely sure if I had the respect or authority to take the responsibility for some of these actions. Imposter Syndrome would kick in — that self doubt where I thought I would get caught out (which, consequently, I have publicly talked about recently).

Funnily enough, the solution was staring me right in the face.

The team’s product owner had a fantastic approach to problem solving. If there were ever any reservations about how we should proceed, we’d remind ourselves what she would say…

“JFDI”

(We actually extended this acronym to FFSJFDIUD — see if you can work it out…)

Often is the case where you need to take the bull by the horns and just f**king do it. It’s sensible to be cautious at times but that hesitation can be impeding. Other times, you need to just empower yourself to take caution to the wind and get on with things.

We even made a poster of the acronym and placed it on our team board as our team mantra. It would lend as a constant reminder to reduce delays and keep delivering. Equally, it would also provoke some interesting and entertaining conversations with passers-by who often ended up nodding in agreement.

Don’t put off what you can do today. Get off your arse and action it right away.

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