I’d argue that I have made it to where I am in life by determining when to be a perfectionist and when to just get the job done. There are times when you should give your all, such as in a marriage or a life and death situation, but most of the time you should save that extra energy and effort for when you actually need to use it.
Putting in only 80 to 90 percent on a majority of your daily tasks gives you the freedom and flexibility to find what you can do to really stand out.
A lot of the time it is what you do that makes a difference not how much effort you put into it.
Waste of Time
How long does it take for you to add that extra ten percent on a project? An hour? Two hours? Twice as long as you spent on the first 100%? Was it really worth the extra time or did it not add any value to the final product? The amount of time people spend on non-value added tasks tends to outweigh the value added time; especially at the end of a project.
If you are trying to promote your new product you may spend hours researching what potential customers will think, determining how much space there is in the market or polishing a PR pitch. Instead of doing that, why not grab your product, leave your office and go talk to real people. Focus your efforts where you will get the most results. You don’t have time to waste on checking your latest stats, sales or performance to boost your confidence. Just look at them briefly and figure out exactly what action you can take to make an impact.
Waste of Stress
Putting the extra polish on everything you do can be quite stressful. When I edit an article I’m posting for the third, fourth or fifth time I start to second guess what I wrote. I’ll think to myself, should I really be saying that, this part is missing something or I should rewrite this part. If I tried to put 110% into everything I do I would never do anything.
I am a huge planner and perfectionist when it comes to certain things and the harder I try on something the more stressful it becomes. When I just take a step back, realize that what I’ve created is ready and push publish I have less stress and actually accomplish more.
What did you miss out on while you were putting in all of that extra effort? Could you have added more value by working on something else instead of putting your heart into only one thing? Follow the 80/20 rule and focus on what is most important with the majority of your time and effort. Determine whether what you are working on, reading or brainstorming is what will actually impact your progress towards reaching you main life goals. By putting everything you do in this perspective you may start changing how you spend your time each daily.
What do you give 110% on? Should you be trying harder on more or less?