Golf is one of those sports that either you like it or you don’t. I happen to love it. I like being in the outdoors with the quiet of nature sounds surrounding the course. I like the independent challenge of the sport; the testing of patience you have with yourself and the game. And I like being engulfed in the focus and concentration that’s required to strategize and execute at every stroke. Golf is not an easy sport by any means, but the joys I get out of it is enough to get me to keep playing another round.
I’m definitely no pro at the game. Unlike my drives and iron shots, my short game is absolutely terrible. I took lessons when I was young and was encouraged to continue with the sport, but I decided to seriously pursue soccer and basketball instead. However, the lessons I took early on were enough for me to grasp foundational techniques that I still carry with me to this day. Foundational knowledge is so important to have with anything.
One day I went to the driving range with a family member. They kept hitting slice shots, which is when the golf ball unintentionally curves way left or right instead of straight. I recognized a few things that could be causing the issue and asked him to make some tweaks. I had him readjust the placement of his feet, extend his club further away from his body, and keep his left foot down and left arm straight on the backswing to avoid the baseball swing tendency (wrong sport). He made these small tweaks—then bam! A straight drive. Then another, and another.
My family member didn’t have to start completely over. He knew how to swing in general. He just made some tweaks, and the outcome was vastly improved.
What Can You Tweak?
Often times when we want to improve something it’s a matter of tweaking, not starting over. Here are some examples:
Tweaking in Design
Many times when I feel like something just isn’t right with my designs, I ask myself what I can remove. What design elements don’t serve a strong purpose that I can get rid of? Less is often more, and so I tweak. I don’t start my design over from scratch. I just tweak it.
Tweaking in Coding
Coding is likely the best example when it comes to tweaking. You know the saying—99 little bugs in the code, take one down and debug it around, suddenly 150 great bugs in the code. Coding is a never-ending cycle of tweaking. For a developer, it’s just something you need to get comfortable with.
Tweaking in Productivity
There’s a lot of productivity “hacks” shared out there, and sometimes just the smallest tweak can be an added benefit. For example, I’ve tweaked my morning wakeup time lately to be 15 minutes earlier. Though seemingly short, I get a good start to the day and actually get a lot of small tasks done.
Tweaking in Marketing
When running a marketing campaign you need to pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. When you’re not receiving the results you’re looking for there’s no need to scrap the entire campaign. You just need to tweak it. Perhaps you need to tweak the messaging and copywriting, or maybe you need to tweak the aesthetics like the photo or button color. A/B testing is all about tweaking.
Tweaking in Business
Maybe your startup product isn’t working out for your intended audience. Rather than scraping your entire startup you learn from it and pivot where necessary to get more positive results. You’ve likely heard the term “Fail Fast.” This is to say that when you spot something not working, make a pivot quickly. Tweak it.
Tweaking in Self-Growth
If you study yourself with an honest eye you’ll likely observe some things holding you back from reaching your goals or true potential. It’s in this observation that you have to honestly ask yourself how to tweak areas of your life to make it better. This may look like spending less time with people who drain your energy and more time with people who lift you up. Or perhaps it’s tweaking your schedule to fit in non-negotiable personal time for you to do whatever activity fills your cup such as painting, going to the gym or reading that book you always wanted to get to.
What Do You Need to Tweak?
Of all these examples I mention I would argue that tweaking in areas of your self-growth is the most important. Without taking care of yourself it’s pretty challenging to do anything else well.
Tweaking doesn’t need to be something that is only associated with New Years resolutions. It’s an activity that should be ongoing. Sometimes the tweaks are uncomfortable, and sometimes that’s a sign that you need to make them. Remember, tweaking is about small changes, small shifts. You’ll know when you got it tweaked just right.
So, what tweaks do you need to make? Make those adjustments.