‘Done is better than perfect,’ was famously said by Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook. When I first heard it I remember thinking, no, I totally disagree. But this week I’ve been pondering the pressure I put on myself to reach the heady heights of perfection and what it means to be perfect.
So it was very timely to read one of Aby’s posts over at You Baby Me Mummy – The Truth About Being Successful. In it she writes,
‘Don’t over analyse every aspect of what you do….Perfection isn’t a useful state to be seeking.’
This really resonated with me because I have always given 100 percent to everything. Always aiming for perfection. At home and at work. I have an eye for detail and this can be a double-edged sword. I wish I could look at things like a normal person, but instead I critique and tweak…a lot!
The desire to get it right every time stems from my career in marketing. I produced campaigns in seven languages (only one of which I understood!), so always had the fear that despite checking my work a hundred times, it would go to print with an error. I dread to think how many hours of my life I’ve spent proof-reading documents and checking artwork. I guess it should be no surprise that perfectionism has spilled over into my personal life.
BUT WHAT IS PERFECTION?
Well one thing’s for sure, it’s tiring and all-consuming. It is also very subjective. Whether in your working life or home life, what you deem to be perfect others may not. So in that case, what are we aiming for?
Our own satisfaction?
I believe it’s a mix of all those things. Let’s take motherhood for example. I never realised how competitive the whole experience could be. From breastfeeding and baby-wearing to how we get them to sleep, there is always someone that apparently does it better. Very early on I knew I had nothing to prove to other mums. But I have always put pressure on myself to be the all important ‘perfect mum’. Good grief, just writing that makes me laugh. If we all had to write five things that make a perfect mum, we’d all put something different. Because we all have our own vision of perfection and that should be enough. But instead we scour the internet and read all the parenting books, in our desperation to do it all ‘right’. But by whose definition? It’s all so exhausting.
So, I’ve decided to cut myself some slack. Whether it be motherhood shenanigans, this blog, our home or just me, I’m going to tell myself, ‘Done is better than perfect.’ And I urge you to adopt this mantra too. Just try it, you’ll instantly feel lighter.
NEW MANTRA, NEW OUTLOOK
Since having Tutti I no longer have the time or inclination for a lot of the faff I occupied myself with pre-baby. Of course some days I would love to walk into a neat and tidy house with precisely placed objets d’art or spend two hours getting ready to go out. But most of the time I like not being so bothered. I feel less highly strung and more at peace with where I am in life right now.
This blog is my newest project and boy is it easy to get caught up in perfection. The knowledge that my posts could be read all over the world brings out every nervous twitch in my body! Before launching I spent hours choosing the design and fonts, the exact shade of duck egg blue and the ‘perfect’ coral. I read lots of wonderful blogs and every tip for success I could get my hands on. I didn’t press publish until I was 100% confident. Every day I want to change things, but I stop myself. How could that time be better spent? Writing new posts? Developing my social presence? Editing images? Yes to all.
I’ve quickly come to realise it’s crazy for me to strive for perfection on every single post and image. I always want to produce high quality content, but I don’t always have to go the extra mile. Whatever I do, people will either like it or not and another two hours spent tweaking won’t change that. I need to accept when good is good enough.
My new outlook is having a really positive effect. Not just on my approach to blogging, but to life in general. Without the constant pressure of needing everything to be perfect, I spend more time living in the moment.
I’ll always battle with my inner perfectionist, but hopefully I’ll stay happy and keep making progress by remembering that time is precious and perfection is transient.
Do you have any sayings that help you win every day?