How do you define “good enough”?
How do you know when a project is done? Sauce seasoned perfectly?
Years ago a boss told me, “Your version of okay is most people’s really good (picture me smiling). And I do not mean that as a compliment (picture me frowning). Stop revising and get this document out the door!” After my ego recovered from it’s dramatic turnaround I realized how much agony went into my work and how little benefit was achieved, especially when writing.
A few years after that I heard the term analysis paralysis, and was grateful to have a term for my over-zealousness. (My father did not use his Mac computer for weeks after purchasing it because he had not finished reading the manual. I think I know where I acquired this penchant for analysis and planning.)
Then I learned a new philosophy, “80% and out the door.” I embraced that for a while, but realized there were times when 98% was what I wanted and others when 60% was right.
Today my mantra is “done is better than perfect.”* It helps me push send on this email newsletter when I have only reviewed it twice, or have just one more thought to add; or share project ideas with colleagues when I really want to research them more. I think this takes courage,
- to know my colleagues and friends will still like me and my work even if it’s not always exceptional
- to hear feedback and new ideas with an open mind
- to know I am okay when others disagree with me
What about you? Any great mantras for moving forward? How do you know what’s good enough?
* I learned this from amazing interior designer Laura Robbins. Thanks!