How perfectionists can tell when their work is “good enough”.
Here are 3 tips to avoid the perfectionism trap – and get more great results with less stress.

Spoiler: they can’t.

But here are 3 tips to avoid the perfectionism trap – and get more great results with less stress.

I keep asking myself the question:

“What is the 20% of this task that will get me 80% of the result?” -> I have no idea, dude.

There are two quotes that make me go nuts. They keep popping up and I can relate to both of them.

But they contradict each other:

Quote 1: “Better done than perfect.”

This is the better known quote of the two. It’s used mostly in the startup context. This is because founders tend to develop the supposedly ideal product before showing it to the public. But this can also be applied to all other activities.

Quote 2: “Half doing something is an expensive way of not doing it.”

We don’t want the impact of our creations to be zero. The consequence? We invest so much that we can’t even imagine that there will be no positive effect.

3 tips to create more great results with less stress, even if you are an artist who earns his money with masterpieces.


Tip 1: Set strict deadlines.

Make sure you invest your energy well in the time frame you set yourself and be tough on yourself about delivering. Pro tip: Get a commitment buddy to deliver your work to so you don’t screw yourself.

Tip 2: Quantity over quality.

Here’s a short version of an anecdote from the book Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland: A ceramics teacher divided his class into two groups. The first one was rated based on the amount of pots created. The second group was rated on the quality of only one pot. Guess what: The highest quality works were all produced by the group ranked by quantity.

Tip 3: Make perfectionism an exception.

We humans like to overestimate the relevance of an endeavor. Not everything we do is extremely important. If it helps you, set yourself a rule: Only 1 out of 30 tasks needs to be delivered in a truly proficient manner. The other 29 are allowed to be just okay.