Done is better than perfect


How many great opportunities do you miss out on because you are waiting for perfection?

“Done is better than perfect” is one of my many mantras. I can feel it when perfection is trying to edge its way in to a project. The red flag for me is when the project is taking more time than a busy, productive person would want it to be.

Being a perfectionist (which I am not), for some, is a badge of honour. However, this characteristic comes at a high price. That price is PROGRESS.

Progress jumps in to a higher gear when there is steady pace. A challenge is identified and discussed immediately. A plan is created and all supporting documents and team training is implemented swiftly. You are then ready for the next project.

This steady pace is compromised when you become fixated on the success of minor elements.

For example, a challenge is identified in your practice, and…

  • It is added for discussion as an agenda item for the next team meeting
  • A plan is created at the team meeting for the project implementation
  • The supporting documents will be designed when there is time to put in focused attention, free of interruptions…if it is rushed, it won’t be perfect
  • The documents themselves need to be worded just right, with some design element to the layout…maybe it could be laminated…let’s research online for similar documents to see how others make it look good…
  • Team training on the project can only happen if we get the whole team to attend…that means it needs to be on a Tuesday…but not next Tuesday, because that’s a public holiday…and we will conduct the training only if we don’t run late with patients…

There are many barriers to implementing a project perfectly. Focusing on these barriers will stall and delay improving your performance, and that of your team.

Focusing on PROGRESS is a forward moving mindset. As each barrier comes up, ask yourself whether it is a barrier because it is not delivering ‘perfection’. Picture yourself managing each barrier like you would a hurdle in a hurdle race: Swiftly assessing and springing over each one, without stopping to ensure you clear them with a perfect leap.

Perfection is nice and makes us feel comfortable. However, it is progress that matters.

Moving away from perfection and ensuring DONE is achieved is your best way to move forward!