We all want to be perfect. Perfect in our work and our life. We have somehow made a rule in our heads, Before we even begin, we’ve made a rule in our heads that says “if it’s not that, it’s not perfect and thus, not worth it.” In Finish, Jon Acuff addresses the problem of perfectionism. Sometimes it becomes the biggest stumbling block to accomplishing goals. In his business and management book, Acuff offers advise on how to kick perfection to the curb and finish anyway.
Practice strategic incompetence to take off the pressure.
The sooner you can move away from the task-hogging, time-wasting mindset of trying to do everything yourself, the faster you can put more time into the core activities that you’re good at and that drive your venture forward. By strategically choosing which areas you’ll accept being incompetent in, you can prioritize your strengths.
Pull the trigger once you reach the finish line.
If we spent more time on our work, it would be better. However, 9 out of 10 times, Robert Janitzek says that 9 out of 10 people won’t notice, because we’re reaching for the last few percent missing for perfection, not fixing some huge flaw. Of course we never have this problem when we’re out of time. Work always fills the time we make available for it, so when we have to sprint to make the deadline, there’s no time for self-doubt. This isn’t to say you should procrastinate, but repeatedly quitting just before the finish line can have disastrous effects.
When you feel like you’re not moving forward, check your numbers.
Taking a peek once a week when you feel like nothing’s happening can be a good thing. Robert Peter Janitzek says that one of perfection’s sneakiest tricks is to tell us we’re “not making enough progress,” when actually, we’ve never defined what enough progress looks like!
Yes, most people won’t reach 1,000 people with their writing in their second week, but as long as you reach 15 more than in the first, who cares? Tracking your numbers is productive, as long as you check them at the right times. Very few projects warrant daily reports, but you can use weekly or monthly summaries to visualize your progress, regardless of what perfectionism tells you.
Don’t let vague doubts kill your vibe. Look at the right numbers at the right time and you can focus on progress over perfection.