But what if you had to lớn choose between perfection or accomplishing things? Which would you choose?

Here are reasons why done is better than perfect.

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Melitta Campbell


Chief Communications | Strategy Officer, Health Charities

The best way lớn get results is lớn try things

I always focus on done versus perfect because my style is about momentum – getting things moving và getting things done.

It’s important in life khổng lồ press forward, & the best way khổng lồ get results is khổng lồ try things, smart things, và kiểm tra them, and then measure the results and refine your approach to vày even better next time.

Whether it’s painting the bathroom a few weeks ago, or writing a blog post, I dive in head first & “get er done” so I can check things off my long list. I had a frikết thúc who would draw a beautiful picture and then tear it up as it wasn’t perfect.

And I’ve known co-workers who were paralyzed lớn act và would sit there & stare at a blank computer screen because they couldn’t find the perfect words. Just get started & keep going. There’s an incredible feeling of satisfaction checking things off your menu.

Perfection is an illusion

As a ballroom dancer, I’m always striving for that “perfect” performance. As a writer, I seek the “perfect” words. I know I’ll never reach those destinations, but that’s not the point. The point is to lớn act.

If I waited until my dancing was perfect to lớn enter a competition, I would still be waiting instead of smiling right now at the memory of winning a World Champion title. If I waited until my writing was perfect, I wouldn’t have sầu three books published. Believing we have lớn be perfect before we can act can paralyze us.

Nature doesn’t wait khổng lồ be perfect. It just acts with full intention and purpose.

The funny thing is that a fully committed action most often produces the results that we identify as near-perfect. The act itself is what brings us closer lớn our idea of perfection. We have to go out and “vì chưng the thing” in order to lớn improve.

As an artist, I strive sầu for perfection in my crafts while knowing I’ll never reach it. And that’s ok with me! If I were khổng lồ achieve sầu perfection, that would mean my journey would be over with nothing left khổng lồ improve.

Instead, I act with full intention và commitment khổng lồ reach my best at this moment. When I work toward “best” instead of “perfect,” I can complete things imperfectly & use the experience lớn move sầu the “best” gauge a little further. The journey continues while perfection beckons on the horizon.

Done is so much better than perfect because perfection is subjective

Yes, even your ikhuyễn mãi giảm giá, your standard, your loftiest prettiest #lifegoals aren’t enough for someone else. Imagine that. Actually, don’t.Let go of perfect because perfect is a trap. Perfect promotes inaction because “it’s not ready” or “I’m not ready”.

Perfection is a sophisticated khung of procrastination and the antithesis of collaboration.

“I’ll wait until…” is a way lớn sit on the sidelines và minimize risk. It’s a way to stay in our head where we can control all outcomes.

Done, on the other h&, is done! It’s liberating, motivating, & accomplished. Cross it off the menu và move sầu on.

Declare your readiness for more. The only way to move sầu forward is to bởi vì something, to lớn start where you are, with what you have sầu, to put it out there, risk being seen for who you are, at the stage you are.

Perfection is seductive but also limiting

Let others fall in love sầu with you now. Let them grow with you. Let them see your evolution and celebrate your journey. If you aren’t doing anything, sharing anything, there’s nothing to relate lớn. Reveal yourself.

Perfection is seductive, absolutely, but also limiting. If you can let it go, you just may find that messiness, unpredictability, progress is just as delicious.

We have sầu all been guilty of it, continuing khổng lồ change, tweak, or think we could make it a little bit better.

Maybe it’s because we are afraid of what other people will think of our work or we think that if this project, article, or proposal isn’t perfect that it’s going to be detrimental to lớn my business.

And while some of that might be true, the other side of the coin is that if you never finish you will be known as the person who did nothing, or your customer will never even have sầu the chance to lớn say “yes or no”.

Yes, do the best you can from the start…but then Gọi it done và get it out there. If you remain open khổng lồ it, you will probably receive some great feedbaông xã that you can use khổng lồ modify the original project or, at worst, you can use that feedback in your next project so that it will be even better.

We must continue to move sầu forward in our business and our lives even when we are not 100% sure. Don’t let trying lớn make something perfect stop you from ever having a chance.

Whether you are creating a new product, offering a new service, or giving a presentation, the purpose is to lớn deliver value to lớn the audience.

The ‘thing’ you are creating doesn’t matter; getting it in front of people does. The longer you wait, the more you tinker, the drive for perfection keeps them from receiving this value.

The fact is until you present your offer khổng lồ your market, you have sầu no idea what perfect is.

Perfection, if there is such a thing, comes from delivering what you have, getting feedbaông chồng from the marketplace, make changes & deliver it again. Do this over và over và you will then be providing exactly what your clients want và need.

You can spend days & weeks và years getting everything exactly the way you think it should be, và it may fall totally flat, no one engages, no one buys. The key is to lớn get it out there và listen to the market on how khổng lồ improve sầu it. The market is always right.

There is no perfect and there is no “done” either

But you can pretkết thúc that something’s done, and that can make the difference between your doing something and not doing it.

When I write a novel, the most important thing I can vày is phối a series of goals around it và accomplish the goals. I don’t worry about whether the book is perfect while I’m writing it. I worry about whether I’ll complete a rough draft.

Once I have a first draft of the book, even if it’s awful, I have something lớn improve. I may revise & edit the manuscript for 10 years. I know it’s never going to lớn be perfect, but at some point, I decide I can’t get it any better, và it’s “done.”

We can go on improving forever, & it’s possible khổng lồ enjoy that process. In yourself, in your work, in your relationships. But only if you never expect perfection.

Even if you could be perfect, you would only be perfect in a particular moment, for a particular person, for a particular reason. Really being the perfect person would mean having the capathành phố khổng lồ change to suit every situation. And, funnily enough, that sounds a lot like continual improvement.

As the saying goes “Money loves speed” & in spite the fact that it sounds like a clibịt it has a lot of wisdom.

Essentially there are two components that trump “perfect”:

Perfection is not an objective sầu measurement; rather in the eye of the beholder

So even if one thinks that they have sầu achieved perfection; it may not be perceived the same way by others.

Striving for perfection is inherently a process that should occur over time

Additionally, it requires feedbaông xã that can’t be given unless the hàng hóa or service is offered to users. Hence, it has to lớn be “done” before it can get lớn whatever the definition of “perfection” is.

Ultimately, there has khổng lồ be a balance between getting things done & getting it done perfectly. Such balance is inherently a better compromise.

With perfectionism comes a sly complication: Procrastination

As a paralegal, I am a self-diagnosed perfectionist. This means, I always strive to have sầu perfect work product.However, with perfectionism comes a sly complication – Procrastination.

Read related article:23 Best Tips on How lớn Stop Procrastinating

When I was younger, I would bởi vì và revì chưng my work in the quest for a perfect first draft (only khổng lồ have sầu it marked khổng lồ hell in red ink by my boss).

It was when someone told me that, “a first draft is perfect on its own, simply because it is the first draft,” I learned to lớn chill out a bit. I learned that, what seems perfect to me, will still be amended by others.

I may have the best brief draft for my attorney, but he will still make changes khổng lồ put it into lớn his own style and add his own arguments. So, I learned that a document would always be a work-in-progress. I needed lớn stop trying to lớn make it perfect from the beginning.

This is when I learned that “done” was better than perfect. It is simply because done gets you to the next phase in a timely fashion. That doesn’t mean “done” should be sloppy work. It simply means it should be good enough khổng lồ move sầu khổng lồ the next chapter.

Perfect gets in the way of getting something done

Why can’t it be both? Of course, perfect is subjective sầu, but if the parameters of a project, task, or sự kiện are set, why would we want khổng lồ shoot for “hey it’s done” over “wow, this is something really special”.

I think the big issue is when perfect gets in the way of getting something done, but that goes bachồng to lớn how the project was initially phối up.

My company is a SaaS company that builds incredible websites for veterinary hospitals, makes sure khổng lồ manage their reputation, their online hours & listing, their website và thiết bị di động experience, online forms, managing their SEO, managing security and privacy issues for them, pretty much anything they need khổng lồ survive sầu online in 2019.

Finishing a trang web or phối up and rollout for a client in a timely manner is wonderful, but not if the hàng hóa we’re rolling out doesn’t showcase their business in an innovative sầu và positive way.

I’m a perfectionist, và it’s something that causes more issues than solutions in my life. However, it’s also helped me grow a successful business, marry an amazing woman, và build an amazing family.

There are a lot of things in my life that could have sầu been “done” and settled, but I chose lớn put in the extra time & effort for those things to lớn be amazing.

Wanting perfection out of your employees và the people in your life is a lot to ask, but I’d rather be the New England Patriots than the Clevel& Browns, and I assume the standards in New Englvà are much higher than they are in Clevel&.

The saying “Don’t make perfect the enemy of good”, generally attributed to Voltaire, is a comtháng phrase at my workplace.

Some – myself being included at times – are tempted to lớn work on something unceasingly trying khổng lồ get a perfect sản phẩm or outcome, when in fact what is needed is simply a hàng hóa that is “good enough khổng lồ get the job done”.

This means that providing an 85 – 90% solution can actually meet needs very well. And if absolutely critical, that 85 – 90% solution can then be iterated upon khổng lồ bring it lớn 100% (ie, perfection).

I work at a very schedule-driven organization, meaning that getting a product or service ready on time is usually more important than any other consideration, such as cost or unique.

I’ve seen new services brought online that meet (or beat) a deadline và that bring a ton of new capability khổng lồ my organization, even if that new service itself had not yet been perfected at that point.

But that 85% solution resulted in một nửa revenue growth for a particular business unit, meaning that getting that service “done” was far more beneficial for more organization than waiting around for “perfection”.

Perfectionists are a lot of sizzle & a tad bit of steak.

Perfectionism is an interesting defense, a special sort of shield for anxious people. It is rarely criticized and in less informed circles, even valued. “I just want it to be perfect” is perceived to lớn a statement about chất lượng và care.

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Perfection is an excuse, a reason to lớn delay và delay

But more often it is an excuse, a reason to lớn delay, và delay, & delay a little more.There is so much fear & insecurity around releasing a finished product–painting, book report, rundown for the CEO–that it just needs “a little more time” to get it right.

So the less-than-perfect, but delivered, thành tích far exceeds the promises và excuses that keep perfectionists from producing little or nothing in their work.

Striving for perfection is a lifelong journey that isn’t human

Is anything ever really perfect? A project may be complete but it is just one building blochồng in the construction of our lives.

Meant khổng lồ evolve, striving for perfection is a lifelong journey that frankly, isn’t human.

No matter what it is you’re putting out inkhổng lồ the world, the creative process is an organic one and will constantly change over time. What may have sầu been perfect yesterday, will not be perfect tomorrow.

Perfection is a perception & a subjective one at that.

Publish the book, post the Clip, submit the article, whatever it is & then build upon it. Give it a starting & ending place to lớn carry out the creative journey in a manageable way, being able to see the progress & feel good about how far you’ve come.

As a business owner or startup founder, especially when starting, you want it to lớn be perfect.

You have your idea and nothing can take it down, however, to get to lớn that idea it is taking you forever and therefore, you still have sầu nothing on the market.

The perfect example is website building. Building a trang web can take forever because you need the right pictures, the right nội dung etc.

The issue is that the entire time your website is not live sầu you are missing out and losing potential clients. Just make it live! If you have the basic pages, even one page that say “We are X và we vì Y” is better than nothing at all.

Same idea for a product. You need customers review, you need khổng lồ know how they feel about your sản phẩm và most importantly what they really want lớn see in it. You don’t need perfection, you need it done.

I have sầu learned through the years that you can always be done, but never perfect.

When I first started my agency years ago it was far from perfect, I didn’t know anything, I was fighting for the best contracts & trying to hire people và I hadn’t made 1 sale myself.

I learned the hard way that I was so busy trying to make it perfect that I didn’t get the most important part completed first. Learning the business.

Once I got licensed and appointed with insurance companies and found a few lead vendors I was done. However, in my quest khổng lồ be perfect I lost all of my initial agents and had khổng lồ rebuild from scratch.

When it comes lớn my online agency, I have sầu learned that my site isn’t perfect, but it is done & that you can’t waste valuable time trying to lớn make something perfect before you take action.

Starting is the most important thing you can bởi vì, just put it out there and fix the things that are important but don’t obsess over perfection because it can ruin a great business.

Not khổng lồ get too meta about perfection, but unless we spover significant hours calibrating around “perfect” with those for whom we are producing work, “perfect” falls somewhere between elusive sầu & totally not the point.

Create the best sản phẩm possible with the information provided & deliver with curiosity.

This means added efficiency for the organization and a better fit hàng hóa or service. Ultimately “perfect” means a sản phẩm or service is a match to the needs of those for whom it is designed. The only way to lớn ensure that is khổng lồ ask.

Do done. Then ask your way to perfect.

Done is better than perfect because perfection rarely exists.

Feeling the need lớn have everything perfect will prevent you from completing things, slow you down, & make you afraid of other people’s opinions. Also, what may seem perfect today may not seem perfect tomorrow, or sometime down the road.

If you feel the need for perfection you may wind up constantly going back and fixing things that you thought were already done (và are already good enough).

In most cases, you can spkết thúc a lot of time trying khổng lồ get from “very good” to lớn “perfect”. The difference may not be that significant, but you may waste a lot of time making just that small, insignificant improvement.

When given a task, most people will want to persize the task perfectly, such as take the perfect hàng hóa photos, create the perfect sale chiến dịch, or draft the perfect press release pitch.

However, what may be perfect lớn one person does not necessarily translate to be perfect khổng lồ someone else. With that in mind, its better lớn get something done to a high degree, allowing for improvements and changes as feedbaông chồng and reactions are provided.

A common phrase for this is the “80/trăng tròn Rule”, where is better to get something 80% done than absolutely perfect. This is especially critical in a startup sense or any fast-paced moving environment.

After 43 years in the design business, Beverly and I agree that while in some cases “done is better than perfect” is just a lazy cop-out, it really is applicable in many cases.

Of course, you always want lớn bởi vì the best job you can for each & every client on each & every project. However, if you are going to lớn make a profit & keep your clients happy, you must complete the project in a timely manner.

Of course, nothing is ever perfect. However, as previously stated you owe it to lớn your clients, khổng lồ yourself và to lớn your profession lớn do the best you can in a reasonable amount of time.

Too often, those of us in the creative fields confuse achieving perfection with endless, neurotic nitpicking and self-questioning.

Do your best. If your client is happy, then you have sầu done close enough lớn perfect khổng lồ sleep at night.

I’ve sầu been a perfectionist since I was in fourth grade, & I was also a procrastinator because I never wanted to start anything for fear it wouldn’t come out just right.

Being a fourth grader obsessed with perfection was no fun at all, & this tendency also followed me into lớn high school, college, và adulthood.

I still want lớn produce work that I take pride in và feel that I bởi vì the best I can; however, “the best I can” is different from “the best it could possibly be,” & this is a hugely important distinction.

I do the best I can with what I have sầu available: time, energy, resources, etc. When I needed lớn create my trang web in advance of my book launch, I hemmed and hawed over how to lớn host it và what it should look like & what khổng lồ include.

And then I took an afternoon, told myself lớn just get SOMETHING up there, and I installed a basic template and added enough content khổng lồ get by until I could roll out changes as I went along. If I kept waiting for perfect, I’d never get started.

As a company, we’ve sầu produced more than a thousand articles and other content across our portfolio of websites. While I certainly think our nội dung is very good, had we refused to lớn publish an article because it wasn’t “perfect,” we would never have sầu been as successful as we are today.

Perfection is not something we can ever attain, but it’s something we can strive sầu for every day.

Nobody has ever reached the top without learning from the mistakes they made while trying to lớn get there. There are very things in life that you have sầu khổng lồ get right the first time, và even then you can always improve sầu on existing things.

Often it’s best to just start doing things và give sầu yourself time to lớn develop your skills as you go. If you look at large YouTubers or bloggers as an example, most of them didn’t start with perfect production quality, rather they continuously improved their craft until they got to the cấp độ they are at right now.

Had these people refused khổng lồ continue pursuing their passion because their first attempt was imperfect, they wouldn’t be where they are today.

Getting things done gives us room to lớn assess & analyze what could be done better

We have sầu a real problem with perfection in our current society, and it leads us lớn consistently feel like whatever we’re doing is simply not good enough.

But the truth is we should be seeking progress rather than perfection because perfection doesn’t exist. If we hold ourselves up to perfect we will never feel that we can bởi vì anything, and these self-limiting beliefs can stifle creativity and innovation.

Getting things done, gives us room to then assess and analyze what could be done better.

In my experience organizing, managing IT & other people getting things done is more productive sầu and more achievable than making something perfect.

As it may be perfect in someone else’s eye but it will never be perfect in your own eyes. Making sure our product was done và available for the rest of the team lớn sell was 100% better than making sure it was perfect, as our software is forever adapting it will never e perfect.

Done is better than perfect because perfect really doesn’t exist.

You should always ayên for high-unique output but perfection is a myth. It holds you and your business back & stops your momentum.

Often people who have sầu worked so hard lớn perfect something will also be reluctant to make a change, even if it has a positive sầu impact on their life or business because they invested so much time in that “perfection”. It really can be detrimental in ways people aren’t aware of.

Done is better than perfect because our minds can’t properly express what “perfect” means

If the goal is perfection, then we will continue lớn find errors or ways to improve something. Done on the other hand gives us the freedom lớn finish something và accept any imperfections with it.

From a productivity point of view, getting khổng lồ Done let’s go through a full feedback loop where you create something and then get feedbaông chồng on it.

Going through as many of these feedbaông chồng loops as possible will get us much closer khổng lồ “Perfect” in the long-term than trying to bởi vì it on an individual piece/project.

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