September 27, 2018
Perfectionism is one of the greatest sources of procrastination. Our fear of things not being perfect prevents us from completing anything, or even from trying in the first place.
I was 100% guilty of this.
Despite spending hundreds, maybe thousands of hours producing electronic music in high school and college, I never actually really completed anything or had anything to show for it other than hundreds of unfinished projects. I could show you a ton of sick 4-16 bar loops, but not a completed song.
I’ve been putting off videomaking for a long time because the videos I make have to be perfect. I’ve been meaning to make videos like “How to become a software engineer without a CS degree” and “How to go from $70k/yr to $140k/yr salary in 2 years” and “The story of my life” and “Which camera should I get for video?” for years now, but I never made them because they just have to be perfect.
I’ve been putting off writing and making a real website to host my writing for months now.
The reality is that nothing is perfect, and no work of art is every truly complete. At some point we just reach the point of diminishing returns and choose to stop working on it and start working on something else.
I wrote 6 articles today. I dreaded writing the first articles because I didn’t feel like I was in the right headspace to be able to write them to the standard of quality that I deem adequate. I haven’t written or read a book in forever, and I don’t feel articulate at all.
But I forced myself to write them anyways, and feel much better after having done so because I no longer feel like the lazy unproductive decaying piece of sh!t that I felt like before.
Are they amazing articles that I’m completely satisfied with? No. But it’s a start, and I can always edit them later. Right now lack of quality isn’t my biggest bottleneck or most pressing need, I need to make my damn website and get in the habit of writing and getting stuff done again.
6 half-assed articles beats 6 perfect ideas trapped in your head that nobody will ever see.
Written by Jeremy Bernier who left the NYC rat race to travel the world, work remotely, and find the meaning of life.