Done is Better Than Perfect

There’s a saying you may have heard that affects people in all walks of life, and that saying is: Embracing imperfection.

“Done is better than perfect.”

What does it mean, and how does it affect your life?

In most societies, the relentless pursuit of perfection is a normal part of everyday life. Whether you have a job or you’re in a business where you work for yourself, this pursuit can stop you dead in your tracks. This is because if you constantly insist on perfection, it’s rare that anything will get done!

Daily productivity is essential no matter who you are or what you do. A stay-at-home mother needs to be just as productive as the CEO of a billion-dollar corporation, just at different tasks. Yet, insisting on perfection in every task renders each person inefficient and ineffective at accomplishing those necessary tasks. 

“Done is better than perfect” also speaks to those who tend to procrastinate in getting things done. Often, perfection is used as a kind of distraction or avoidance technique. If the task is never completed because it’s never perfect, then there is no risk of rejection for the task not being done well enough. So, imperfection stops any forward momentum – a personal and business productivity killer.

When you’ve gotten to a point within a task or a job that is “good enough”, it very often is just that – good enough! Whether the task is folding laundry, writing a new chapter of your book, or writing a grant proposal, there comes a point of diminishing return on your effort. At this point, take a look deep and ask yourself if you are procrastinating on finishing the task.

One can accomplish much more on any given day if slight imperfections are allowed. Letting go of perfectionism is difficult, but not impossible, and when you see how much more productive you can be, you’ll be amazed. The key is realizing when done is good enough and letting go of the control.

It’s not about not striving to do a great job – doing your best in any situation, even in the smallest of tasks, is imperative – it’s about realizing when the job is complete. You can move on to the next task instead of using perfection as an excuse not to move forward and lose all momentum.