In Pursuit of Excellence? or Perfection?

Another glorious day for a walk on the beach.


At what point in the progress of any piece of work is it “enough”? If more than one person is working on it, who gets to call “enough”? Deadlines are often the default way this decision gets made – there’s no more time left to do any more work so that’s that.  And I’ve seen enough – pun intended – to know that is most often the case.

I tried to drive a different approach today just because I could. No frantic last minute stuff; instead I created enough momentum that the rest of the team were able to finish work on the document with a good night’s sleep to spare. It was not just good enough, it was precisely what was required. Everyone’s said so.  AND YET:

What I observe is that there’s usually someone who wants to keep working on it. Something else can be changed, even though as a team, everyone felt comfortable with it. The extra effort will break something, need some more last minute work, etc etc.

I wonder if the habits we build over our working life ensure that even when things are ‘enough’, we can’t bring ourselves to accept something as done. The pursuit of excellence is a noble endeavour, and I’m beginning to notice that many folks (sometimes me included) are obsessed with the pursuit of perfection, mask it as excellence, and drive everyone around us crazy.

Take a break, go for a walk with your loved ones, I say.  I did & it was a glorious afternoon for a walk 🙂