workspace during the drafting of this blogpost

Perfect or Progress?

I struggle with perfectionism. There are some instances where errors cannot be tolerated, and others where striving for flawlessness leads to inaction. Continual refinement is a concept I love, however if I’m honest, I find it challenging in practice. My solution has been to identify areas in my life and work where a mistake won’t cause a major derailment. It’s not easy. The world is full of pedantic individuals who love nothing more than to point out broken rules.

In the world of software development, there is a desire to innovate and release often and early. Bugs can be fixed in the next release. While I wish there was better testing before many releases, the concept is one that helps you to get over the desire for perfect products at launch. Get the ideas out in the world. Receive immediate feedback and revise priorities for the next version as necessary.

balancing tradeoffs

But, there’s a trade-off in the balance between quantity and quality, completion and progress. In the case of my writing, for example, I am by-and-large my own and only editor. After scribbling multiple drafts of a blog post, I type it up and continue to edit until the moment I press publish. Some words will be right, others may sneak by in the wrong order. I know what I mean to say and often my brain kindly auto-completes the pattern. My eyes will not catch the error, but any reader immediately notices.

Should I wait as I edit and not publish until there is no potential of any grammatical error? I don’t think that is a worthwhile solution. If I waited for perfect writing, I would never be content. My belief is that if my meaning is clear, it’s good enough. This is an extreme challenge for me, I’m not comfortable with good enough. I want it completely correct and perfect. Do typos, missing words, or homonyms, frustrate me if they appear in a published post? Of course. I do what I can to minimize them and learn from the experience. An unexpected benefit is I then know if someone has read what I wrote!

driven by drivel?

I hope I’m not tossing up pure drivel and posting for the sole reason that I want to release more content. As I write these posts, I’m revising topics I’ve touched on when I was posting in my How I Work series. As I rework those posts, I’m looking at tools and methods that I use and ways to explain my process to help others.

progress and pen at work

With this in mind, where are the next worksheets? I haven’t created any as the planning grid is a wonderful swiss army knife, and useful in a range of varied situations. When I find a new solution, I’ll share, even if it’s still early in its evolutionary process.

workspace during the drafting of this blogpost

Perfectionism is a bad word. Yes, quality is important. Error free is essential. However, progress is an important part of the process.