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Pop it! - Progress over Perfection

Do you ever find yourself working on a project or task, and no matter how much you do or how many changes you make, you feel as though it is still not perfect? You cannot help but feel that your work is not really done and the vision you have is just slightly out of reach. Do you find that this delays you from completing a project? If you answered yes, here is some food for thought:

We all try to seek perfection and deliver our best work, but how much is enough? As Dan Sullivan describes, there are 2 types of people: those who are high achievers and content with their work, and those who are high achievers and feel like failures. The difference lies in how they perceive their work. Those who are happier measure their progress based on achieving goals and use perfection or “the ideal” as a motivator; however, those who are unhappy with their work only seek to achieve “the ideal” (i.e., perfection). How does one become content with their work, you may ask? It comes down to recognizing the gap. The best way to think of this is to see “the ideal” as a horizon line. As enticing as that horizon is, you will never reach it; therefore, you should enjoy the journey you have been on to try to get there instead.

Realize that not everything has to be perfect and if everything had to be, we would never truly be “done”. It is better to define our own goals and focus on achieving them along with the baby steps we take to be able to get there. What can help to shift your mindset is implementing the 80/20 rule: if 80 percent of your “ideal” has been reached and you have made your best effort, it is likely your work is sufficient.

Using project management tools such as or Smartsheet can help you to visualize your journey and define your goals. These tools can be used to track your progress and visualize your real end goal.

Overall, enjoying the journey and celebrating the milestones will motivate you and your team much more than settling for anything less than perfection. How will you re-evaluate your idea of success?


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