Perfect is the enemy of good—a loose translation of Voltaire’s original Italian proverb. It can arguably be considered as the first time that society explored the idea of perfection. But what does being “perfect” really mean, and how do we define it? By the end of this guide, you’ll have these answers and more.
Let’s dive in.
Why Perfection Is The Enemy Of Good
Being a perfectionist is often thought of as a high compliment. And it is. But how much is too much?
There is a fetishization of perfection that can affect our ability to enjoy our lives. They spend long periods trying to get things just right. And anyone who does seem satisfied becomes undesirable. After all, how could someone be happy when there are better shoes, better cars, and better careers in the world?
The desire to achieve absolute perfection is something people want to flaunt more. But we must ask ourselves, is our obsession with perfection healthy?
In the past few years, we have seen concepts of perfection develop from reasonable to delusional. You are only perfect if you are constantly striving for perfection. An engineer who doesn’t desire to create the perfect product is no good. These unrealistic standards are often why the daily lives of people have become so complex and stressful. The idea of creating an ideal life has pushed people into a sentence to perfection that has no finish line.
How To Prevent Perfectionism From Controlling Your Life
In a world focused on success and achievements, how do you escape from the web of perfectionism? Below are a few ways to help you understand why perfectionism is unhealthy and how to fight against it.
Before you put your all into any project, ask yourself how much effort does this project require? Can I put all of my energy into it, or are there other things that need my attention? You may find that some tasks come without a deadline. Your obsession with perfection might then end up being a never ending pursuit.
2. Don’t Ask For Extra Time
The idea of movable deadlines promotes perfection. Relentlessly working on a finished product beyond what is necessary doesn’t make the product better. So, try to get the work done within the given unit of time.
3. Focus On Finishing
Don’t overdo it, even if you have the time. The finished product itself is the standard to aim to achieve even if it is a defective product.
4. Enjoy The Process
The idea that there is a time crunch can give you the motivation to do your best. Becoming perfect shouldn’t be an obsession; it should be the intention to give your best at a given time.
5. Progress Over Perfection
Learning to improve from your previous work is crucial for personal growth. Try to finish a project with the only goal to make it better than the previous one. This gives you hope to always do better instead of thinking of the current product as the end product.
The Implications Of Imperfection
It is essential to understand that the pursuit of perfection can have negative implications. It can be detrimental to your personal and professional lives. Some of these negative consequences are as follows.
The dream of the exceptional product: You don’t understand when is a good time to stop. A project can never be complete if you are always trying to improve it.
The curse of perfection: By trying to attain the perfect product, we sentence ourselves to a life of misery. A product is only excellent until there is a better product.
Stress on relationships: Perfection can destroy relationships. This entrepreneur article who strives for perfection paints a clear picture of the adverse effects of pursuing perfection.
How Can Perfectionism Hurt You?
This form of extreme perfection can lead to more unhappiness down the road. Imagine no longer finding anything of usual standards satisfying you anymore.
A perfectly viable product is no good for you, which decreases your satisfaction over time.
The habit of perfectionism is not only unhealthy for you but also for your team. Trying to achieve set standards can prevent you from creating a product that genuinely connects with your audience.
If you are also working on building the perfect team, read on to learn more about scrum teams. It can be made or destroyed by a simple choice of progress over perfection.
What Is A Scrum Team?
A scrum team is a group that works collectively to produce and deliver a product. Scrum teams work on common frameworks that require them to use a high-level communication mechanism. This ensures a product that is at the pinnacle of perfection.
How Does A Scrum Team Work?
A scrum team will work on product development using set norms and regulations. This allows them to maintain their roles and respect their fellow team members.
Scrum teams often include five or more team members who are all assigned different tasks. Their tasks, however, are interrelated and depend on each other. A scrum team consists of a development team, scrum master, and product owner.
Development Team: This team includes a group of individuals who develop the product. They do assign roles, but the roles are more flexible and can shift as the tasks change. The unit of time they need to work for is already decided to ensure smooth development.
Scrum Master: The supervisor of the scrum team. Their primary role is to create a space and environment free of obstacles to help the team do their job well.
Product Owner: They work as a mediator who goes between the scrum team and the customer to translate the product development requirements. They also deal with customer feedback.
A talented team is not made of perfect members. But they are made of members who do their best to understand the customers. Plus, they are not afraid of working with customer feedback. These premium articles on “how champions perfectionism negatively affects your team and productivity” shed more light on how obsessing over being perfect can severely damage your work.
Although we say perfect is the enemy of good, a lot of good things can come from perfection. The pursuit of perfection is not destructive in itself. But the pressure it puts on a performer or a business leader is not healthy.