Why You Should Stop Confusing Perfection with Productivity 

posted in: Productivity 0

Image of a street wall mural of a boy with a hammer striking a fire hose extension, photography by R. IsipDo you think getting things done “just right” or executing them perfectly means you are productive?

While quality and structurally sound work is one thing, perfection is entirely another!

In this post I offer a few tips to remind you that you can be productive, without being perfect each and every time.

You’ll build stronger foundations.

A strong or solid foundation is a great way for you to ensure you create good work. Let’s say you were baking a cake for example. You could spend hours on decorating and frosting the cake making it look “perfect,” but if the cake is lopsided and full of holes, that’s not a good structure from which to work.

Now, of course the cake doesn’t have to withstand a two-ton blast, but it should be structurally sound so it can hold all of the time you spend decorating it. Taking care of the basics ensures your work is sound from the very beginning or starting point. Are you working and building with the proper materials, tools, information you need for the job?

You’ll actually improve the quality of your work overall.

Focusing on perfection can drain your ability to just get things done. Remember, productivity isn’t just about producing one thing in a vacuum for now and forever, it’s a repeat occurrence. That being said, can you tell the difference between good and bad quality in your work? The idea here is to look for those points or parts of your work that make it what it is. What do you do on a regular or repeat basis that makes your work downright wonderful? What steps do you take or have you made recently that really seem to bring the quality of your work up a notch?

Sometimes work just has to be finished, or completed.

One more edit, one more tweak to an image, one more review to a report or paper…sometimes materials really are good enough and perfectly able to be presented as a finished product. Besides obvious deadlines, those last little tweaks won’t have much of an effect on the whole of your work. If you’ve been doing your work all the long, putting in your time and churning out what you need to; you’ve been producing! Besides, there will always be a heck of a lot more stuff to produce now and in the near future. Sometimes the best thing is to just get things done and move on to the next item…

How about you? Where do you spend your time perfecting something when in fact it really doesn’t need to be perfect, but just structurally sound? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.