Why I Hate “Done is Better Than Perfect” × Navigating the Procrastination Valley × Minimum Viable Completion

Balancing perfection and efficiency: mastering 'Minimum Viable Completion' while avoiding procrastination valleys. Achieving productivity with intentional task management.

Why I Hate "Done is Better Than Perfect" × Navigating the Procrastination Valley × Minimum Viable Completion

Lately, I've been reflecting on my approach to work and thought I'd share some insights. Striving for perfection in everything can be counterproductive, and I've come to see the value in balancing quality with efficiency. Here are some #littlethingsworthsharing from my journey:

There are times when things need to be perfect upon completion. However, that is the case for a minority of tasks. Most of the time, tasks need to be completed to a certain standard rather than being perfect. I should expect only a few tasks each day to require perfect completion—that is the pace I should stick to.

For example, I tend to be very detail-oriented with my work. When making slide presentations, I focus heavily on design and alignment, aiming for perfection. This level of detail is necessary when pitching to high-value clients. However, many slides don't need that much attention. A "Minimum Viable Completion" (MVC) should convey the necessary information without needing to be perfect from the start. Improvements can be made later if needed.

For the rest of the tasks where I feel friction, it is best to either just do it or just rest—the in-between is the realm of procrastination, a horrible place to be. Don't approach this valley, don't dwell, and don't be in that realm. Be intentional with the task at hand.

There are two angles I need for growth:

  1. The ability to balance and figure out when to go for perfection and when to go for MVC. Get the job done well as required but do not do the "good to have" stuff. I dislike the phrase "done is better than perfect" as it seems irresponsible to just scratch things up and not care about it (although that is not the intent of the phrase). This probably stems from working with people who do a shoddy job and call it done, and it is not good enough to function or fulfill its goal. Doing things the MVC way gives clarity that you will be completing tasks in a way that is both finished and viable.
  2. When friction reaches a certain amount, I need to decide when to push and when to pause and recharge. Gauging the output from the time input helps me make this decision. If I push for 20 minutes and the output is horrible, I should take a rest. If I don't decide quickly, I am most likely cliffhanging in Procrastination Valley.

Achieving a balance between getting tasks done well and avoiding unnecessary perfectionism gives me a great feeling. It is my current personal goal. It provides a sense of achievement and productivity, which I am a big fan of.