Done beats perfect

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“Get shit done! #checklist” by Cristian Borquez on Flickr

Hey, you. Yes, you. That thing you’re working on? The blog post/video/annual report cover design/novel/other thing that’s at least somewhat challenging and complex? It’s probably never going to be perfect. It is very likely that six months from now you’ll see some room for improvement–something you would change if you could go back in time.

So what are you waiting for? Give it one last look, put a bow on it, and send it into the world.

Does this mean you should settle for mediocrity? Nope. There’s enough average stuff out there already.

Does it mean you should ignore the details? Absolutely not. Being technically correct is a baseline expectation.

But after you’ve built something good, checked your facts, and dotted your tees to the point of crossing your eyes–when you know you have something good but you keep screwing with it because it’s not perfect, that is–it’s time to stop, hit save, and get it out there.

If it never gets to an audience beyond you, it doesn’t really exist. If you don’t finish, the guy down the street with a similar idea will. If you wait for just one more person to chime in with their thoughts, you’re going to wait forever, and you’ll eventually get sick of the sound of chimes.

In today’s environment, when more content is created in an hour than you could consume in a lifetime, you need to make stuff that’s good, and ideally great. But it’s probably never going to be completely flawless. In today’s environment, done beats perfect–especially when striving for perfect is preventing you from getting it done. 

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