Too much to do and not enough time? Forget perfect!

Get the RSS Feed

Turtle My clients often write or call in a state of overwhelm and panic as their to do lists grow mammoth and the energy required to start a new business (especially while still employed) seems impossible.  I am having one of those moments myself.

I have the good fortune to be writing a series of articles for my friends at Startup Nation that profile people who have successfully made the transition from corporate drone to thriving entrepreneur.  I will discuss them in an interview at Startup Nation Radio which will air on May 20. (I will be sure to provide you with the details when it airs – it is a nationally syndicated radio show, so it should be in your town.  If not, it will be available as a podcast download.)  All totally exciting stuff and I am way psyched to be doing it!

The only bummer is that with all this extra writing I still have not completed my ezine for April.  And today is … May 1!  Egads!  I have babysitting 2 1/2 days a week, then the rest of my work gets done in the evenings when "The Bubs" goes to bed.  My babysitting time is also filled up with general "life management" stuff such as paying bills and helping with the paperwork for my husband’s business (He owns a construction biz and is on the road at 4am each day, returning at 5 or 6pm … since he is pulling the most financial weight these days, I try to help him as much as I can!) 

I tried to see if I could do a thing or two when I was watching Josh by myself one Tuesday.  As he was happily pulling all the books off of the bookshelf in my office, I was trying to quickly dash out an email.  Suddenly I heard a BONK!  He had slipped on my gigantic "Successful Manager’s Handbook" and hit his head on the bookshelf.  He got a little bruise on the side of his head and I felt like a horrible mother.  So I swore off trying to write anything with him underfoot.  I still do the occasional phone call, but my poor clients and friends have to put up with squeals and the occasional hang-up as Josh pushes the buttons on the phone.

Times like these I follow the advice of  Lisa Earle McLeod and her company Forget Perfect.  Many of my fellow coach entrepreneurs never miss a publication date, spin out great products and services with flair and respond to all emails within 24 hours.  I do that in my dreams!  Each day, I do my very best.  If I deliver my April ezine on May 3rd or 4th, I just hope my kind subscribers will give me a break.  I choose to be happy and healthy at this stage of my life.  I refuse to put my son in full-time daycare, or pull all-nighters just to do all the hundreds of things that I need to grow my business.  I would rather be a turtle, slowly creeping along and enjoying the view.  I have a small group of delightful clients and I adore the writing projects I am doing right now.  Oprah may just have to wait a bit.

P.S.  I know what some of you might be thinking: "In the time she took to write this blog post and find a good picture of a turtle, she could have finished her ezine!"  You are probably right!  But blog posts like this are therapeutic for me, so it was worth it to take the time to complete it.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

9 Responses to “Too much to do and not enough time? Forget perfect!”

  1. Eric Bowen says:

    I’m an IT consultant developing “enterprise” solutions for big corporations. These days very few of these projects are new systems, most them are replacements to tired old systems that have far out lived their expected life spans.

    The client always wants a perfect solution that solves all the problems of the old system and adds a boat load of new features… estimated development time 1 year with a $1,000,000 budget. This is all great except that they want it next quarter, and they only want it to cost $100,000 dollars.

    My simple answer is that we can commit to delivering something that “SUCKS LESS” than what they have now.

    “Sucks Less” has become to unofficial moto of many project I’ve worked on.

  2. Don Schenck says:

    I order to thrive, I remember this:

    “Perfection is the enemy of Progress”

  3. It must be nice to be able to ‘move along like a turtle’ if one wants to…

  4. Pamela Slim says:

    Hi Paula!

    Thank you so much for reading my blog and contributing comments frequently! I am square in your camp – a recovering perfectionist with the ability to slip back into binge-self depricating whenever I get some tough feedback. The Four Agreements is often my remedy too, as I find his words of wisdom extremely calming. The other thing that makes me feel better is reflecting on the quote (author unknown) “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Thinking of it that way, I can fancy myself an ancient greek mortal who is constantly screwing up and being turned into salt or forced to push a rock up a hill forever or marry some kind of man/beast. It makes it all much more romantic, even if my “inner battles” are mundane things like wondering if I used punctuation correctly.

    Keep on keeping on with your coaching business and you WILL be able to break free of your day job soon! Don’t sweat it – when the time is right you will make it happen.


    P.S. I think we may be on to something with blog therapy. 🙂

  5. I continue to love reading your posts. It is a highlight in my day. As a recovering perfectionist, I am learning that “completion” beats the unattainable “perfection” any day of the week.

    As one of those characters still working a job and building a business, I know firsthand the overwhelm & potential for burnout that I coach people about. What I’m learning is that “my best” is enough. When I forget, I go back to “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and re-read that chapter.

    Thanks again for a great post — and I know 100% what you mean about having a blog post be cathartic. I had a few of those recently that allowed me to shift my mood & mindset entirely!

  6. Pamela Slim says:

    Hi Patsi!

    Knowing that you are a blog goddess, I take your flattery as the highest form of compliment! Thank you!

    I wrote the original info on graphics in the comment section of this post:

    But lately, the only source I have been going to is Their images are not always free, but I don’t mind paying the occasional buck to ensure that I don’t run amok of copyright violations. The way their site works is you can buy a number of credits to hold in your account (kind of like a pre-paid phone card idea) and they deduct credits as you order photos. Many of the images are free.

    I find that as a visual thinker, a great image helps me write my post!

    Good luck!


  7. I continue to enjoy your blog, Pamela, great writing. And, one other thing your blog has (I have a little blog envy here) is great photos! I know you’ve shared your source with us before, but I can’t find it. What do you recommend for photo image sources?

  8. Pamela Slim says:

    Hi Matt:

    I am with you! One of the things I like best about blogs is that they make writing so easy!

    My sister is an editor and my father is a photojournalist, so I often feel the need to have a “perfect” draft. But I have learned to let it go since “good enough” seems to be moving me just in the direction I want to go.

    I always enjoy your posts and know you put a long time and thought into writing them.

  9. Nice post. Perfectionism is one of the big lessons I’m learning about in my swich from programming (20 years) to personal productivity consulting. And I think blog posts are a perfect testing ground. I could work mine over and over again, but I’m getting better at saying “this is good enough” (maybe not great, but…) and hitting the “Post” button. And guess what? They end up being fine.