Best advice on perfectionism I’ve heard
I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. After struggling with it for a long time, I’ve learned (through trial, success, and failure) how to push through perfectionist tendencies and just get work done.
Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m not still looking for ways to produce instead of experiencing perfectionist paralysis.
In his book Make Every Second Count: Time Management Tips and Techniques for More Success With Less Stress, Bob Bly shares this following advice:
Don’t be a perfectionist. “I’m a non-perfectionist,” said Isaac Asimov, author of 475 books. “I don’t look back in regret or worry at what I have written.” Be a careful worker, but don’t agonize over your work beyond the point where the extra effort no longer produces a proportionately worthwhile improvement in your final product.
Be excellent but not perfect. Customers do not have the time or budget for perfection; for most projects, getting 95 to 98 percent of the way to perfection is good enough. That doesn’t mean you deliberately make errors or give less than your best. It means you stop polishing and fiddling with the job when it looks good to you — and you don’t agonize over the fact that you’re not spending another hundred hours on it. Create it, check it, and then let it go.
(You can pick up the book via Kindle for just a few dollars.)
I really love this. In fact, I’ve written “Goal: 95%” above my home workstation as a reminder. Like Bly says, customers don’t expect perfection. The peipole who read my content aren’t thinking, “I wanted this to be a piece of content I’d read every week for the rest of my life!” The fact is, anything on the internet has a limited lifespan and will be replaced by something newer, shinier, and up-to-date at some point. (Hubspot, an inbound marketing platform service, understands this well and frequently publishes new content that covers the same topics and information as previous content.)