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Perfection is the Enemy of Done

Are you a perfectionist?  Most of us don’t like to put that label on ourselves.  We reserve that label for “other people.”  However, for those of us who really care about our lives, our families, and our careers, it is easy to allow perfectionism to take over.

Photo Credit Daniela Vladimirova

Photo Credit Daniela Vladimirova


When this happens, we find ourselves stuck.  Our ideas and dreams stay on the shelf.  We process, plan and strategize.  But, we never actually accomplish anything.  We let our identity get wrapped up in our projects.  Then, our fear of failure takes over and we find ourselves procrastinating and paralyzed.  Whether you are writing a resume, creating a business, developing your next product, building a website, planning a family outing, or taking care of the house,  Perfection is the enemy of done.  And, only “Done” gets results.
So how to we break free, accomplish great things and move into our destiny?  We need to change how we evaluate our projects. Rather than focusing on the details and striving for perfection, we need to look at the big picture and strive for excellence.


Here are the definitions from Merriam-Webster

Perfect – having no mistakes or flaws
Excellent – very good of its kind, first class

Do you see the difference?

Perfection is a never ending goal.  None of us are perfect and therefore none of the tasks or projects that we set our hand to will be perfect.
So if you have a project that is being held up by the goal of perfection, here are some steps to get it moving again.

  1. Re-evaluate the purpose of the project
  2. Determine the “non-negotiable” criteria for the project based on the purpose
  3. Evaluate your project based on these criteria
  4. Once the project is “Excellent” based on these criteria launch it and consider it “Done”
  5. Evaluate the results of the project
  6. Make improvements.

Keep in mind that you can always keep improving.  If you strive for Excellence, Done and the Improvement, you will accomplish great things.  Your “first shot” at a project may not be so great.  However, the feedback you receive from that project will allow you to make improvements that give you a much better end result.

How do you get a project moving that has gotten stuck?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below

– Brian