Done is Better Than Perfect

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How good are you at finishing things? Does perfectionism ever break your cycle of start-to-finish? I confess, more times than I care to admit, perfectionism is my enemy to completion in some areas. I let this idea that I must do a perfect job overwhelm me to the point of paralysis.

Writing backwards is difficult! Isn’t it funny that I misspelled “perfect”?

Take this informal poll to see where you score on finishing well. Use these 3 answers as your guideline.

  1. On target 90% – 100% of the time. I am very self-motivated.
  2. I have a 70% – 90% completion rate. Lots of nagging and reminding keep me on task.
  3. Under 70% is what I can accomplish. Fear, perfectionism, and overwhelm keep me from finishing well and on-time.
  • How good are you at finishing home projects? I.e. repairs, home decor, gardening
  • How good are you at finishing personal projects? I.e. cards, finances, hobbies
  • How good are you at finishing work projects? I.e. reports, phone calls, follow-up

How did you do? Like me you probably found that it depends on the project as to how well you finished. Some things I rate myself as a 100% especially when it comes to work.

But with other things I am not so good. I.e.  Decluttering is still a top to-do. I have a lot of unsent birthday cards. I get overwhelmed by social media and so am behind in answering those multiple streams of inquiry.

After reading this article (Done is Better Than Perfect) and this article (The Done Manifesto Lays Out 13 Ground Rules for Getting to Done) from Lifehacker, I realized that “DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.” This is true for most things that I am involved in.

  • You don’t have to do a perfect job when painting a living room wall or cleaning out the garage.
  • You don’t have to do a perfect job in paying bills or making costumes for the kiddo’s Halloween party.
  • You don’t have to do a perfect job writing a school paper/work report  or returning a phone call.

You don’t have to know all the answers and most likely NO LIVES will be harmed with your less-than-perfect accomplishment. That probably holds true for me too. 🙂

And you know what? We are smart enough to know when a “perfect” job is needed.

  • Doing surgery? Performing on The Voice? Perfection is needed.
  • Putting in a rose garden? Decorating a cake? Perfection is not needed.

So from today on, I am going to assess my to-do’s by this new motto, Done IS BETTER than perfect. “The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done” (#6). I am hoping this will snowball and before you know it my excess stuff, pile of cards, and half-written papers will be done!

Your Turn . . . How does this quote strike you? . . . What projects will you finish today (this week) because of applying the truth that Done is better than perfect? . . . Do you have some other way of dealing with perfectionism?

NOTE: This is the 4th photo in the series, A Fall of Self Portraits, from my Fall Bucket List.

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Entry filed under: Main, Procrastination. Tags: , , .

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