September 26, 2012 by Rose Cook
I know I’m detail oriented and tend to be a perfectionist, but what it took me a lot longer to figure out is that perfect isn’t always — perfect. It’s so easy to get caught up in “analysis paralysis”, reviewing, tweaking, rethinking and re-tweaking that it becomes counterproductive. There comes a time in any project that you need to recognize it’s good enough. You’ve done your best and while obsessing and endless edits may feed your perfectionistic tendencies, couldn’t that extra time spent be put to better use?
A friend was recently telling me about a co-worker who was driving her crazy because she over analyzed everything to the point of inefficiency. Her methodical way of accomplishing tasks and her quest for perfection is holding up projects, slowing down the process and causing friction amongst the team. It sounds like a perfect example of “analysis paralysis”, and someone who could benefit from understanding that a job well done doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.
In today’s fast paced world we have become accustomed to things moving quickly. With technology at our fingertips we expect answers instantaneously. We’re tuned in all the time on our phones, laptops and tablets. We’re on our smartphone checking e-mail or Facebook until we turn out the lights at night and we wake up to an alarm “app” in the morning. My point is, that in a society that moves as fast as we do, there’s not always a place for perfection. Lynn and I could have continued to tinker, rework, rethink and obsess over the idea to launch FlexPro, and being the perfectionists we both are we probably took longer than we should have, but in the end we knew what we had developed was good. We knew no matter how much more time we spent on the development of the business plan and everything else involved, at some point we were going to begin going in circles and not forward. And isn’t moving forward what it’s all about? Sure, stop and savor the moment. Enjoy the accomplishment then take a deep breath and move on!
FlexPro has certainly changed, evolved and grown since we began in 2008, but we would have never learned what we needed to improve on while still tinkering with it on the drawing board. No amount of planning can substitute for sheer experience. As admirable a quality as being a perfectionist can be, recognize when you need to get out of your own way. Understand that while you may want to continue to fuss over whatever is until it’s “just right”, you may be impeding your forward progress. And in the end, is that really so “perfect”?