When Perfection Is Useless


Recently, Chris Guillebeau had a great post regarding the theories of publishing creative work (Read it here). In short, he explains the inevitable battle we all go through when we have to weigh getting something out into the social ether vs. perfecting that very thing before it goes out. That battle is a fair battle to be fought and I’m not here to argue either side at the moment.

My issue is with the times sweat drips out of our pores perfecting something that doesn’t need the Mr. Clean shine; the times when good enough is good enough. How often do perfecting the things that merely keep us busy suck up the majority of our productive time? Quite a bit, I’d say.

I’ve been there, a lot! Spending countless minutes (hours? eesh.) comparing possible fantasy baseball trades and what it might mean to get a guy whose OPS is 0.05 points higher than the guy I have. I don’t even know what OPS means but I swear by Thor’s hammer that I’ll get the guy with the higher one!

Do we need to find the absolute best deal on those shoes/game/bag/massage/fantasy baseball trade or will good enough do? In moments like that, good enough can get you back precious minutes out of your day. How many? I don’t know. 15, 30, 45? More?

Next time you’re trying to find the perfect photo descriptions for the new Facebook album you uploaded, I suggest you put up something that is good enough. And when an absolute perfect description for one of the photos sweeps into your head while you’re walking to work the following morning, simply chuckle and think of what might have been in the Facebook universe. Hopefully, being good enough on those descriptions the previous night bought you some free time to work on whatever it is that you’ve been dying to work on, the thing that actually demands your perfection.

Don’t be the bees knees or the cat’s meow when Hey, that’ll work! would suffice. It’s easier said than done but it’s something we can all work on.

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