It’s hard to ignore a flaw when you see it. You know it’s there, it’s all you can focus on, and you don’t want to accept it. You want to fix it before you release your work to the public. If you’re waiting for it to be perfect, though, you’re probably just stalling.
Photo by becca.peterson26.
As productivity writer Seth Godin explains, perfect is rarely an ideal that any of us can practically pursue. Perfect is expensive, time-consuming, and worst of all it rarely offers any tangible benefit over “good enough.” Sure, if you’re building a space shuttle it needs to be perfect, but not if you’re creating TPS reports. So, why do so many of us wait for perfect to happen? Because it helps us stall for time:
Perfect is the ideal defence mechanism, the work of Pressfield’s Resistance, the lizard brain giving you an out. Perfect lets you stall, ask more questions, do more reviews, dumb it down, safe it up and generally avoid doing anything that might fail (or anything important).
If you don’t pull the trigger until it’s perfect, then you might never pull the trigger at all. Perfect stands in your way and tells you to wait. It prevents you from taking the scary step that you’re afraid to commit to. At a certain point, what you’re likely worried about isn’t perfection, it’s being afraid of judgment for your imperfections.
Abandoning perfection [Seth Godin]