Click here for this week’s 6 1/2 minute podcast episode: Cut through work paralysis by replacing “perfect” with “good enough.”
If you are anything like me, you sweat the details of your business, wanting to make sure that everything is flawless and of the highest standards. The problem is, in a rapidly moving world and life, it is impossible to be perfect at everything you do. In fact, you will most likely stress yourself out and get little done if your standards are so high that you get paralyzed.
In this podcast episode, I invite you to redefine your relationship with perfectionism and invite “good enough” as a new standard for releasing work and getting things done. In order to do this, you will have to:
- Define different standards for your work
- Prioritize your tasks
- Make tough choices
By doing so, you will not only get more done, you will have more fun doing it. And learn more!
I have challenged my own perfectionist tendencies this week by not publishing my podcast on time (due to the wretched nausea I described yesterday) and incorrectly stating that a marathon is 26.5 miles, when in fact, as many readers pointed out, it is 26.2 miles (since corrected). It certainly is not the first time I have made a typo, but I have to say that as time goes on, I get more comfortable with them. I am trying to move to more action and accomplishment, and that sometimes involves screwing up. Don’t worry, I am not recommending that you become sloppy and careless, perhaps just a bit less obsessed by details.
If you have struggled with perfectionism and have some insight, please share!
The Perfect Paradox
By Jenifer As a devotee to the Wabi-Sabi philosophy, I personally find it hard at times to preach abandonment of perfection without finding myself caught in my own conundrum. I am, after all, human and I unabashedly admit that at
The last comment is interesting because it is the “perfection paradox” that my business partner recently wrote about on our blog.
In my mind the pursuit of perfection is different than the drive to be remarkable. One is attainable and the other isn’t. As they say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” so much and focus on the bigger impact places.
I do agree with your post that entrepreneurs should stop pursuing perfection and do more instead.
However, I do not agree with ‘good enough’. Good is never enough. Good enough sounds mediocre. Mediocre hardly brings us success. Limits are not being pushed and we might work towards being better than we can be.
We should work towards being Remarkable instead. ” Stop trying to be perfect and start being Remarkable!” This is quoted off Seth Godin’s book, The Big Moo.
Remarkablity might just take 5 mins day. And it can contribute to 99% of the success of a task.
We should all stop being perfect. Remove “good enough” from our dictionaries. And start being Remarkable. Leave an impact.
One good example of this is my blog. I’d really like to make it word-perfect, get it professionally proof-read and illustrate every post with the exact right graphic. But there isn’t time. I don’t get paid for blogging and while it is important to me, I can only spend 20-30m a day on it at most. I get occasional emails from people who have spotted a typo or something. I correct mistakes but I don’t apologise for them. If I wanted it perfect, I do one post a fortnight. Better, I think, to let my hair down and bash something out every day. As my friend Tim says: it’s free, they no likee, they no comee.
You must be channeling my work/life anxieties at the moment!
I wish I had some real insight — some days I do better on the “good enough” front, both with work and with parenting, than others!
It certainly is not the first time I have made a typo, but I have to say that as time goes on, I get more comfortable with them. Reminds me of an anecdote about the great pianist Artur Rubinstein who, when asked if he made fewer mistakes when playing as he got older, replied, “No, but I play them with more confidence!”
I am a UI Designer and since it’s a discipline built on principle we spend a lot of time *arguing* about the right way and wanting to *do things right*. However, I find many times the things I agonized over were not the problems, rather it was something entirely different!
P.S. I enjoyed your podcast. It was the impetus for me to link to our blog even though it’s still in its *unfinished* state.