Falling On the Wrong Side of the Perfection Spectrum

Perfection is a state of mind. It’s also a spectrum that goes from “total crap” to “there’s nothing that could be improved.”

I tend to naturally fall on the right side of the spectrum, striving for perfection. It makes me slow. Not “slower than average,” but “slower than necessary.” I’ve made a conscious decision to move away from the far side of perfect in exchange for some speed. The less time I spend editing, tinkering, and tweaking, the more I can get done.

This comes with an obvious trade-off: perfection for speed also means I’m pushing closer to “total crap” than ever before. Occasionally I go too far.

Yesterday I sent an email newsletter with typos, poor syntax, and even the wrong word in one sentence. My unedited work was exposed for all to see, naked in its inglorious imperfection. My intention when I wrote that email was “get this done in 10 minutes.” Bad move.

I did it. I’m human. And I take the blame for sending it out without proofreading one last time. The lesson here is obvious: I was too far to one side of the perfection spectrum. I should be doing less work, but higher quality. Or perhaps simply slowing down is the answer.

As we all do our most important work, we’ll continue to seek our own balance on the spectrum.