Don’t be a perfectionist, start today

Stop procrastinating and start implementing...

An avenue of trees with a quote: “Good enough is good enough. Perfect will make you a big fat mess every time.”

One problem I faced when I was younger and wanted to start a new project or reach some goal, was that I planned too much and implemented too little.

I thought that I had to have every detailed laid out so that I could do it as perfect as possible.

For example with working out and getting into shape:
Researching for hours what supplements to take and which movements and exercises would give me the best results.
This, only to later either give up, or even worse: get started and do it for a couple of days before being discouraged and quitting.

This is a big mistake that people make and I’m very happy that I’ve been able to train away this mindset and get into a better one.

So how should you get rid of this limiting mindset?

Plan less, Implement more

Nowadays when I start a project I of course lay out a plan for how to do it.
What I do differently, however, is that I also identify the most important task to getting started. 

And here’s the key: I start doing that most important task as soon as possible.

Later on when that task is “done” (or at least good enough that I can start focusing on other things as well) I will bring the smaller, “less important” tasks into my pipeline of things to do.
These are usually the things that give that “little extra” but are not the most important.
Read also: Pareto’s law everything

By bringing these small improvements later I will also get motivated by finishing them at the same time as I’m still hustling with the initial, important task (that sometimes can get boring).

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” – Plato

So when you plan you should only select what is the most important task and get started on that particular task.

No product launched is ever complete

Every product you’ve seen has not been launched in the condition that you see it today.

This is the thing that might have confused you: When people are rewarded for some feat they’ve done, the media doesn’t show you the hard work that was put into becoming successful, they only show you the result of their work.
Read also: Avoid the Highlight reel effect

Realize this: you will never be “perfect”, you can only be a better version of yourself.

This is because you can’t have the “perfect” solution to any problem. You will constantly learn new things that replace the old best practices and make the old solution obsolete.

So stop thriving for being perfect when you launch something or tell your friends that you’ll do something. Everyone started at the bottom.

“If everyone waited to become an expert before starting, no one would become an expert. To become an EXPERT, you must have EXPERIENCE. To get EXPERIENCE, you must EXPERIMENT! Stop waiting. Start stuff.” – Richie Norton

Prioritization example

Here are two examples to illustrate what might be the more important and less important tasks when trying to achieve something

Start a blog

  1. Set up the blog
  2. Write posts (you need content)
  3. Promote the content (get readers)
  4. Change the theme to nicer one
  5. Make it easy for readers to find related content
  6. Make it easy for readers to share the content
  7. many other small things that will bring value…

Get into shape

  1. Go to the gym X times a week
  2. Take basic supplement like Protein
  3. Learn how many calories you need to add/remove to reach your fitness-goal
  4. Eat right (according to goals in step 3)
  5. More advanced supplements to help you bring that little extra
  6. Refine your routine to maximize efforts

In both these examples, by just doing step 1 and maybe 2, you will reach a quite good result. And by later building on that effort and adding other small things you can optimize it to squeeze out even more result of your efforts.

Trying to get everything right from the start is a fools game and you will most likely quit, or get stuck in your ways thinking that you are doing it like it should be done.

Summary:

  • Plan less, implement more: Start with the most important task instantly
  • Realize that you don’t have to be perfect or have a perfect product to launch into the wild.
  • When you have the base, add those small “little extra” things that will improve your results

 

What will you start with today, that you’ve been putting off?

6 Comments

  1. Wow, this is hitting the nail right on it’s head. Planning too much, doing too little, think this is one of the biggest causes for failure!

  2. i used to be that way and then i realized there’s no such thing as perfection. you have to take action

  3. Its funny i’m reading this post because just the other day i was listening to an audio where they said “people who strive to make everything perfect in their business are always going to be poor” (paraphrasing) because they never get started by taking action! lol

    Thanks for sharing i was a huge victim of this

  4. I just finished NaNoWriMo, where that is exactly the point. Just write. Get the words on paper and worry about editing and perfection later. It was a great lesson for me to learn. Sometimes you just have to do and jump, and worry about making things better along the way.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*