Overcoming Perfectionism

A few questions to help prevent you from making "perfect" the enemy of "done".

What's the worse that can happen? Often the thing we fear coming to pass is either highly unlikely or fairly insignificant.

How much more value will be added by continuing to work on this? The last 5% of improvement often takes as much work as the first 95%. Determine whether that juice is worth the squeeze.

Am I clear on what "acceptable" is? If you've met spec, ship it.

How difficult will it be to revisit this? If the cost to iterate is low, then go for it.

How much can be learned from moving ahead now? When trying new things, it helps to treat your early efforts like experiments, where the primary value is the learning, not the outcome.

What is lost in delaying? The opportunity may not be there tomorrow, or next week and certainly not next year. How are you accounting for the cost of non-action today?

And of course, if perfectionism is required and your margin for error is low, use a checklist.


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