Overcome Perfectionism by Developing an Iterative Mindset

Overcome Perfectionism by Developing an Iterative Mindset

(Justin DiRose) #1

Originally published at: https://productivityguild.com/2018/overcome-perfectionism-by-developing-an-iterative-mindset/

Have you ever felt like you can’t do something because you’re not good enough at it? Not finished a project because you weren’t sure if it was done? If that’s you, you’re definitely not alone. What we’re likely talking about here is the feeling of perfectionism. Perfectionism is, by definition: the refusal to accept any…

(Wilson Ng) #2

I was raised by strict parents that demanded perfection. Anything less than an “A” letter grade was not an option and considered a failure. Boy, this really crippled me.

I’ve learned to fail quickly and re-iterate. That’s all part of life. Nothing is ever written like a movie script.

Failure doesn’t mean I’m a loser. It just means that I’m on the right path and I still have room to grow and get better.

In this world of impatience and instant gratification, learning to live this statement is the key to my success. Keep churning. Keep moving forward and I’ll eventually get to my goals.

(Justin DiRose) #3

I’m honestly still learning this one, but it’s so key.

(Luc P. Beaudoin) #4

Two quotes from one of my main cognitive productivity role models/heroes, Winston Churchill:

Success Is Going from Failure to Failure Without Losing Your Enthusiasm


KBO (Keep Buggering On)

Winston Churchill was not just a politician, he was a real knowledge worker. Not only did he write a ton of speeches, non-fiction, and some fiction (cf. Winston Churchill as writer - Wikipedia), to my knowledge he also wrote more government papers (white papers, etc.) than any other British politician of the 20th century (probably of the Commonwealth). As a minister, he would sometimes write white papers as suggestions for other ministers.

He had many big setbacks, but kept going on. (Actually , he probably took that too far, and remained PM longer than he should have).

(Beck Tench) #5

That’s exactly right! I hadn’t read that quote before. Thanks, @LucCogZest.

(GWB) #6

Thank you for reminding me of the difference between… “While perfectionism says nothing but perfect is good enough, excellence says do the best you can with what you have.” And doing the best with what you have means acceptance for what is, and is not, as well as open to possibilities of what could be. Thanks.

(Justin DiRose) #7

You’re welcome! I need to remind myself of this sometimes yet as well.

(David C. Morris) #8

I often tell myself and my teams, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough. Figure out when something is due and how much time/effort you can you put into working on it. Then, scope out what you can realistically accomplish within that time frame and do it. When work and life gets in the way, and you run the risk of not meeting the deadline, reduce the scope of your original plan, but deliver on something. Like you posted in #3, you can always improve/add to it in your next round. I find this is best to build the habit of GTD.

(Justin DiRose) #9

This is so key. Most people are forgiving if you at least showed you gave a great effort. Deliver something, but you can’t always deliver everything.