As a perfection addict, I think it may be time to start a support group because I know there are a few of us out there.
A fellow recovering perfection addict, and mentor, recently called me out on my terrible behavior.
Needing to complete a role, a business process, or various tasks to a level of perfection is not only exhausting, but it is also not sustainable long term.
PLUS – if you spend an extra hour on a task to ensure perfection, will your customer (whether internal or external) even notice?
Would good enough still have been just fine? In most cases – ABSOLUTELY!
Disclaimer - This obviously may not be the case for surgeons, pilots, vets etc – perfection in some industries is totally necessary!!
Lean methodologies teach us, not to do anything that isn’t driven by customer need. Whether that is an external customer, buying a product or service from you, or an internal customer like your boss, staff, or a colleague.
If the customer doesn’t need it, then it is deemed a “waste”.
Now, I’m not suggesting you should all start producing substandard, sloppy, lazy work. “Good enough” still commands a reasonably high level of quality.
But… perfection is a step beyond that high level of quality, it takes additional time and effort that can get in the way of business efficiency.
So, next time you are tying yourself in knots trying to finish a task to a level of perfection that may not be obtainable, ask yourself, will good enough be totally acceptable?
“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Voltaire
Think about it…
Side note & excellent example of my terrible behavior...
I like to scrub my house within an inch of its life at least once a week, I get anxious if people come over unannounced and I haven't cleaned.
Since I started my business, I haven't been able to clean to my usual standard, I just haven't had the time, and this has been causing me HUGE stress.
I said to a friend the other day, that I'm going to hire a cleaner because I haven't been able to clean my house and it's stressing me out!!!
They said... "what are you even talking about, your house is always spotless", to which I was thinking - I haven't cleaned my bathroom in 3 weeks!!!!
I think this is a great example of perfectionism at play.
I wasn't cleaning my house to my deemed level of perfection, and no one even knew or cared, except me - what a waste!