Fine Obsession

Why is it that my obsession with the perfection of a task is inversely proportional to the importance of that task?

I think perfection is highly overrated. Most of the time, since perfection is so subjective to begin with, you shouldn’t agonize over getting things exactly right, because the marginal benefit to the increased time and effort is almost never worth it. Most other people can’t tell the difference between your 90% and your 100% and even if they could, they’d often prefer the 90% version in a quarter of the time or for a quarter of the cost. I want my heart surgeon to aim for perfection, but few others.

Of course, maybe that’s the answer to my question! When I get truly obsessed over perfecting something, it’s invariably something only I will ever know about. The exact right way to organize my tools, perhaps. Or the perfect little fix to some minor irk that I’ve encountered. Since no one else will no – but I will, every day – the “perfection perception” gap disappears.

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