Be the doer

4 min read
fix me

Photo by maxa on Unsplash

In an era where data-driven decisions often lead to analysis paralysis, it's crucial to keep the essence of creativity and intuition.

In the quest for perfection, I am an advocate for a pragmatic approach, especially when addressing blockers and tackling easy tasks that can accumulate, and we can quickly take during downtime.

Back when I worked for a small startup, we opted for a pragmatic framework - the matrix of effort vs impact. Items in the block of quick wins - high impact & low effort - became our go-to when we were not sure what to do; when uncertainty appeared or stuck with dependencies.

matrix of impact and effort

Get yourself a doer

Now, let's talk about a profile that I always liked, known as the "doer". To me, a doer is someone who simplifies problems, takes initiative and gets things done. This profile is crucial for a healthy team, focusing on delivery and learning by doing.

A doer doesn't just identify and share problems out loud; they come up with proposals or solve them. A type of profile that within a team can't be missed.

It's in a few words, a person, who is not scared to take things outside of the scope, not to show off but just for the sake of taking a rock outside the team’s road.

Someone with no excuses! A person who doesn't hold up processes for perfection, nor do they delay features due to minor uncertainties. Importantly, they act for the team's benefit, not personal credit.

But Wait! Don’t get confused with the one who always wants to be the hero and goes the extra mile. It's a matter of inspiring others, not becoming a gatekeeper, and avoiding delegation at all costs.

Truth be told, in terms of scalability you can not be the doer forever and need to transmit the spirit to the rest of the team. So leading by doing will have necessary a limit, you don't want to end up biting off more than you can chew.

Low hanging fruits

Being a doer in the team ensures things keep moving. Otherwise, those less-prioritized tasks linger at the bottom of the to-do list, or backlog. We either tackle them or avoid them until urgency forces our hand.

There's also a sense of joy in our daily work, and I can be guaranteed that regardless of your position, at some point in time, you will have to deal with a particular task that’s annoying, boring, or just unpleasant to make.

We all face annoying tasks, and how we deal with them matters.

You can argue that if it ends up at the end of the backlog is because is not important, although is true, the problem is that is a consequence of procrastination and not a reflection of user impact and urgency. Having more tasks with more priority doesn't even mean that the priority of the other has changed, it just means that the number of tasks went up.

The real question is how we respond. Sometimes, I once read that we spend more time thinking about doing something unpleasant than it would take to just do it.

It has happened to me, and still does, that I spend more time looking for sticking notes, and a working pen to write something down for the future, than doing it on the spot.

Mastering time management

Being a doer not only contributes to resolving things but also to being more conscious and valuing your time.

From extensive brainstorming sessions to long conversations that feel like running in circles the doer is the mindset of the one willing to play the devil's advocate and prevent those things from happening.

Time is a matter of investment, whatever you save now it can be re-invested later generating a compound interest in your free time, or in where you decide to dedicate time.

Procrastinating will hardly be our ally, linear development it's faster, if we continuously jump back and forth between tasks, the progress will dictated by the cost of those context switches.


Balance data-driven decisions with creativity, and embrace a pragmatic approach to problem-solving.

Having a doer or being the doer becomes crucial for team health, focused on delivery and learning. Ensures continuous progress by embracing the joy of handling unpleasant tasks.

Value time as an investment for future gains, and avoid procrastination for faster development.

Thanks for reading ❤️

Written by Manu

I am a product-driven JavaScript developer, passionate about sharing experiences in the IT world, from a human-centric perspective.

Other articles