Stop trying to make things perfect

Stop trying to make things perfect. It will hurt your chances of success. How?

Doing so slows you down, potentially making your work obsolete when you finally release it in the real world. The time you spend getting things perfect, is time wasted on other work that could’ve delivered more value. Also, if you get too far ahead of the pack, you may start losing support from stakeholders because they feel they weren’t part of the journey. And the longer you wait, the more pressure you put on yourself to show your work, and the harder it becomes to actually do so. 

Remember, done is better than perfect.

Don’t aim for perfect. Instead, adopt a ‘good enough right now’ mindset. Ask yourself: What quality of work do I need now to move forward?

The answers will surprise you.

Sometimes a simple napkin sketch will do. Other times, a short presentation, concept wireframe, or draft report will do the trick. Sometimes it requires high quality software code or a high-end prototype. And then there are rare cases – say Olympic finals or nuclear power plant design – where good enough right now means getting it (almost) perfect.

‘Good enough right now’ is not about being lazy or sloppy. On the contrary.

It’s about working smart. It’s about having the courage to show your work early on. It’s about making the right trade-off between quality and speed. It’s about choosing progress over perfection, so that you move forward fastest.

Don’t aim for perfect. Aim for good enough right now.

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