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

“Done is better than perfect.”

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

I can tell you firsthand how this has affected my life in the past. I admit it, I’m a recovering perfectionist. Yes, I use to be on this relentless pursuit of perfection in everything I attempted. All this pursuit ever did was stop me dead in my tracks. This is because my constant insistence upon perfection, rarely allowed me to actually get anything done!

Daily productivity is important 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. This was definitely one of my tactics. 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 killer of both personal and business productivity.

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 within and ask yourself if you are simply procrastinating finishing the task.

Much more can be accomplished in any given day if slight imperfections are allowed to remain. 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 in 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 and you can move on to the next task, as opposed to using perfection as an excuse to not move forward and losing all momentum.

To your success!

Valerie Priester