the sky floor

You Should Know More than One Way to Skin a Cat

September 12, 2022

Some phrases don’t hit you fully until you stop to think about them. I don’t condone skinning cats, but I couldn’t think of a different way to say there is more than one way to get most things done. 

The simple fact is that nearly every task or goal you undertake will have more than one route to a successful outcome. Even work always done a certain way will have different paths to success. 

The temptation is only to hone the base-level skills to get by. But I suggest you intentionally explore alternative ways of completing your everyday tasks. Why? You will expand your skillset, uncover new techniques, and quickly get yourself out of time-sensitive problems. 

Consider this quick story. Last week I was working on a website, and the backend was behaving strangely, so the typical way of accomplishing the work was unavailable. It just wouldn’t work. But I could quickly use an alternative approach that resulted in the same outcome because I had developed that skill before.  

You back up your data in the cloud; you have a spare tire on your car; you probably have multiple locations to charge your phone, but we often don’t develop alternative ways to accomplish our everyday work tasks.  

The key is to develop these skills in times of peace, not in times of crisis. When in crisis mode, you may land on a solution that isn’t the best just to get it done. Suppose you develop alternate paths in times of peace. In that case, you can evaluate the work on its merits alone AND be ready to deploy the different method the minute it is needed instead of being frantic for a solution. 

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There is more than one way to skin a cat; it is to your benefit to learn as many of them as you can before you need them. 


  • Working on different ways to accomplish your everyday tasks can save you time when there are problems. 
  • You may also uncover better ways of doing your work.