On the show, George said his dad was a perfectionist. Specifically, he was a bricklayer who was known for his impeccable craftsmanship. However, when he was working on other things, George said he would sometimes hear his dad say …
That’s a great saying to remember to help you fight your inner perfectionist. When you’re working on something, you reach a point of diminishing returns.
#1 – You can spend a whole bunch more time to get something a little bit better, or
#2 – You can spend the same time and get a whole bunch more done.
In most cases, you’re better off doing #1!
The 80 / 20 rule
Apply the old 80 / 20 rule – 80 percent of the things you do probably don’t need to be perfect; only 20 percent do.
If what you’re working on is really important, go for the marginal improvement you’ll get from spending the extra time on it. If it’s not that important, get it done and remind yourself that it’s good enough for who it’s for.
For example, Mary-Lynn said that she used to try to get her hair to look just right before she went to work. But she has a lot of hair, so it took some time. She found that if she kept fussing with it, she’d be late for work. She learned to just turn off that curling iron, pull the plug and say, “It’s good enough for who it’s for.”
George said he only wished he had enough hair to have that problem!
Perfectionism causes procrastination
Perfectionism can be a huge problem because it may cause you to procrastinate. Have you ever put off doing something because everything had to be perfect before you could start?
George said that when he had a report to write in college, he would never be satisfied with the research he had done. The house had to be immaculate before he could start. His desk had to be cleaned and organized. He finally learned to say, “It’s good enough for who it’s for!” Then he could get start writing the report!
Rebutting your inner perfectionist
There’s a well-known technique for fighting off your inner critic. Start a journal that records the conversation between the perfectionist in you and your more practical self. This helps you discover what is causing your need for perfection so you can rebut your inner perfectionist.
So, yes, we’re telling you to talk to yourself! But remember, you don’t need a perfect reply or a perfect question.
Our bigg quote today is a shortened version of a quote by John Updike:
So fight off your inner perfectionist with these simple words, “It’s good enough for who it’s for.”
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Next time, we’ll discuss how to increase your profit year after year. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!
(Image by woodsy)