Have you ever started a video editing project full of enthusiasm, only to find yourself either completely overwhelmed by its complexity or bored out of your mind with its simplicity?

Well, you’re not alone.

There is a fascinating concept in the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear that perfectly matches this challenge – THE GOLDILOCKS RULE.

The Goldilocks Rule

This principle, when applied to video editing, can help you find that sweet spot. Challenges that are ‘JUST RIGHT‘ – ensuring you’re engaged, learning, and growing, without hitting a wall or yawning your way through.

The Goldilocks Rule suggests that we are most motivated when working on tasks that hit the sweet spot of difficulty. Not too hard that they’re unachievable, and not too easy that they’re boring.

This concept is important for both learning and staying motivated because it ensures that we’re always challenged enough to stay engaged but not so much that we give up.

So, how does this apply to video editing?

Whether you’re a beginner learning to cut clips or an experienced editor mastering color grading or visual effects, finding tasks that are ‘JUST RIGHT‘ for your skill level is key to your development. 

Identifying Your Current Skill Level

Before you can find your ‘JUST RIGHT‘ challenge, you need to know where you stand. Assessing your current video editing skills can be tricky, but it’s essential.

Start by reviewing your recent projects. What tasks did you find challenging, and what felt too easy? There are also online quizzes and challenges that can help you find your level.

Once you’ve pinpointed where you stand, challenge yourself with a project that’s just a bit out of reach. 

Skill Level: Beginner

Start with mastering the basics of your editing software. Set yourself the task of editing a short video, focusing on simple cuts and transitions. The challenge should be to tell a story in under a minute using only basic techniques.

This helps build your narrative skills without overwhelming you with technical complexity.

Skill Level: Intermediate Editor

If you’re already comfortable with the basics, push yourself into uncharted territory by experimenting with more advanced techniques like color grading or sound design. A good challenge might be to recreate the look and feel of a scene from your favorite movie.

This type of project pushes you to learn new skills and apply them creatively.

Skill Level: Advanced Editor

Challenge yourself by taking on projects that require not just technical skills but also artistic vision, such as creating a music video or a short film from scratch. The goal here could be to focus on storytelling through visual effects and advanced editing techniques.

These projects are complex and require you to stretch your abilities to their limits.

The key here is incremental progress.

Think of your skills as a progress bar that increases little by little with each project. By tackling projects that add a manageable amount of complexity each time, you’ll build your abilities steadily without hitting an obstacle or burning out. This approach ensures continuous growth and keeps the editing process exciting.

But even with a perfect plan, you’ll likely face obstacles.

If a project feels too difficult, break it down further. Remember, even a single step forward is progress. If you lack motivation, then set small, daily, or weekly goals and reward yourself for achieving them. If you feel like you’re not improving, it might be time to shake things up. Try a different type of video project or learn a new editing skill.

Adjusting your tasks to stay within the ‘JUST RIGHT‘ zone is important. If something becomes too easy or too hard, reassess and adjust your goals accordingly.

Benefits of The Goldilocks Rule

By consistently applying the Goldilocks Rule to your video editing practice, you’ll experience a range of benefits:

1. Learn Better and Faster

The Goldilocks Rule helps you learn in the best way possible. It’s like choosing a game level that’s perfect for you – not too easy, so you’re not bored, and not too hard, so you don’t give up. This way, you keep getting better at editing videos, and picking up new skills as you go along.

2. Stay Excited About Editing

When you’re working on something that’s just the right kind of challenging, you’re more likely to have fun and stay interested. If it’s too simple, you might get bored. If it’s too tough, you might feel like quitting. Finding that middle ground keeps you excited to see what you can do next.

3. Be More Creative

Challenges are good for your creativity. When you find tasks that are just right for your skills, you get to try new things and figure out cool ways to solve problems. This can lead to the creation of unique and interesting videos that stand out.

4. Grow as a Person and Editor

Every time you conquer a new challenge that’s just right, you’re not only getting better at video editing, but you’re also building confidence. You learn to tackle problems head-on, which is a great skill to have in all parts of life. Plus, being able to do more complicated editing projects can even lead to exciting opportunities.

5. Get Skills Quicker

Using the Goldilocks Rule means you’re learning most smartly. You focus on what you need to learn next, step by step. This means you don’t waste time on stuff that’s too easy or get stuck on things that are too hard. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you improve.

6. Feel Good About Your Editing

Working on projects that fit just right with your skills can make you feel really good. Every time you finish a task, you feel proud of what you’ve done. This can make editing videos something you look forward to, and it’s a great way to keep stress away.

The Bottom Line

Mastering video editing is like going on an adventure. You’ll face some challenges, but also have lots of wins along the way.

The Goldilocks Rule is all about picking tasks that are just perfect for you – not too hard that you want to give up, but not so easy that you get bored. It’s like finding the perfect pair of shoes that fit just right; they help you go further without getting tired or hurt.

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