Apart from taking time to figure out which direction is which, I am bad with directions generally. If I have to go somewhere, I can take directions from someone and just be there. When someone is giving me directions, after a couple of turns, everything gets muddled up. In most cases, I have to stop a few times, ask people for directions. The good thing is that now I can tell in a fraction of a second if the person giving me directions knows the directions himself or not.
The other alternative can be a GPS. The problem with GPS phones is they are painfully slow and update your location long after you have missed your turn. They can also give you directions where the roads are no longer open.