How to beat perfectionism with a ‘good enough’ approach

Yes, you can learn how to beat perfectionism. And yes, it’s important to get things as right as possible. But you’ll probably know that striving for perfection is a fool’s errand.

And that’s because perfection doesn’t really exist, and if you’re a perfectionist then you’re setting yourself up for massive frustration and stress.

Not only that but trying to get things perfect will seriously impede your ability to be productive.

You see, aiming for perfection will lead you to waste loads of time on things that, in the grand scheme of things, simply don’t matter. And, when you’re self-employed, you can’t afford to waste time on unimportant stuff.

This episode of the Smashing Self-Employment podcast gives you a couple of examples and useful pointers on beating perfectionism and really getting stuff done.

A good way to beat perfectionism is to acknowledge that most things only need to be “good enough”.

You can learn how to beat perfectionism by adopting a 'good enough' mindset
how to beat perfectionism wisdom

That’s right, good enough is good enough.

It really is that simple.

OK, so I know that it’s far from easy to get your head around this since it’s a moving goalpost.

A big thing to try and bear in mind is whether your customers really care if it’s perfect. Chances are good that they don’t as long as what you’re delivering does what you said it will.

Obviously if health and safety are considerations in your work then a ‘good enough’ approach might not be wise. But most jobs in most industries don’t need to be perfect, just good enough.

So, here’s a few quick pointers on “how to beat perfectionism”
  • Regularly ask yourself: “is it good enough?”
  • Ask yourself: “does the client care if it’s only good enough?”
  • Think about whether you’re spending too much time trying to get things right
  • Ask yourself: “am I obsessing unnecessarily over details?”
  • Think about whether what you’re doing could be delegated to someone, such as a VA or sub-contractor. This will help take the issue off your plate.

I promise that if you work on this then your productivity will go up. You’ll get more done, simply because you’re not obsessing over things that aren’t really all that important.

Want more on ‘getting stuff done’? Check out:

Busy vs productive – a few pointers (article)

How to work out your most productive time of day (video)

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