Like many Type A personalities, I sometimes find myself in the trap of pursuing perfection in my work. On it’s face, this seems like an admirable thing to do, but let me tell you: IT’S A WASTE OF MY FREAKING TIME.
Ok I got a little real there, sorry.
Here’s the thing: perfection is unattainable if you are defining it for yourself. My clients often say, ‘Amy this is PERFECT!’ and inside I cringe a bit because I’m being critical of the tiny, insignificant detail I didn’t feel 100% sure of. My clients don’t see the imperfection because to them, what I’ve delivered meets their needs and it was complete within their insane timeline and tiny budget. Win for them.
Perfection, especially when you’re designing processes and procedures like I often am, is a waste of my time and talent. It makes no sense for me to obsess over the smallest thing when the sum of the parts gets the job done. If I’ve exceeded the expectation of my client and provided something that works well now and can scale with them in the future, I’ve done my job. I’d be doing my clients a disservice if I wasted their money spit shining every little thing I do for them.
This often makes me think of others like me who create something amazing in 5 hours and then spend 10 more going over the top looking for that peak of perfection. Going past the point of diminishing returns doesn’t do anyone any good.
In business, things can get a bit messy. If you are stuck and can’t move forward, you don’t need a custom designed tool that cost a fortune and took 3 months to build. You need a good old fashioned hammer to bust your way through your problem so you can fix it and move on. Sometimes, there just isn’t time for luxury.
The key is to artfully balance implementing something when it’s great and not implementing something because it’s not perfect. If you have trouble leaving perfection to the surgeons and space shuttle engineers of the world remember this: your business is going to change in the time you spend pursuing perfection, and when you finally reach it, your square peg will no longer fit because the hole is round now.
So instead of reaching for unattainable or unnecessary heights, pursue the greatness in imperfection.