Why can’t perfectionists break the habit? – The Globe and Mail.
A great article on perfectionism, touching on how this affects women in particular.
“While some view perfectionism as a virtue, it can be a vice in a business world that values agility, speed and risk, characteristics that require some fumbling and failure.
“Perfection is often the opposite of speed.But being slow is often worse than not being perfect,” said Jim Estill, a partner at CanRock Venture, a venture capital fund based in Hicksville, N.Y. “The difference between 80 per cent and 99 per cent can often take three times the amount of time. And often 80 per cent is still good enough to get the job done.”
From my own thinking on the subject, I’d add the following thoughts:
Depending on the setting that you are working in, perfectionism is an extremely subjective thing so the work we do to perfect may have little co-relation to re-writes up the line. As this article notes, better to think in terms of incremental improvements and collaboration.
I am also apt to remind people of the missed opportunity cost of them polishing documents when I have a tidal wave of work to assign – it is possible to miss chances to work in interesting projects because the work on other projects continues beyond the point where necessary to get it up the line.
Lastly, the learning curve is slower with the fewer projects that get advanced. I like the phrase that we have to “fail faster” to increase the curve.