Done is better than Perfect

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December 31, 2010

A colleague sent me a link to a bunch of photos from Facebook offices around the world.

In one of the photos, you can read a sign on the wall which says “done is better than perfect” and I’ve decided that this will be my motto for 2011. (Update 2016: it’s become more of a permanent goal for my work now)

A part of me is a struggling perfectionist, perhaps with a hint of OCD. Everything needs to be p-e-r-f-e-c-t, and as soon as I see something’s not going right, I pull a 180, and switch from burn-the-midnight-oil mode to procrastinate-to-the-point-where-it-never-gets-done mode.

I’ve got so many half-done projects because I begin to see that as a mere human, I’m not capable of perfection. I get discouraged, and I put things off, cast them aside, with the thought of “I’ll get around to that a little bit later.”

On occasion, I’ll try to breath new life into an idea by learning some new technology or programming language, but those also fall flat because, really, as a husband, a father, I just haven’t got the time.

My wife worries that I’m demotivated to the point of standstill to where I’m not even trying to do anything any more, and to some degree, she’s right.

So this year, I’m hoping that “done is better than perfect” will encourage me enough to just get something finished for a change. Whether it’s learning Python 3 to get my web game launched, or a web service or two to communicate with an Android app (even if that means using Google’s App Inventor instead of writing the app by hand, so be it).