There’s an oft-quoted (some might say overused) line that traces back to Voltaire and says that “perfect is the enemy of good,” meaning that perfectionism often stalls progress, and that you’re better off releasing something than waiting until everything is exactly the way you want it.
As with most aphorisms, this is truer in some cases than in others, and dangerous when taken too far. (Fortunately, I haven’t yet read of any airline engineers who have adopted it as a mantra.)
In my less-contested daily work, I’ve noticed there are things I’m a stickler for (grammar) and others I’m content to let slide (clutter).
Then there are things where I’d be better off letting go, but can’t seem to, like file and notebook organization. Organization is something I would love to be able to do quickly, but the hierarchy-of-knowledge geek in me won’t settle for anything less than a perfect system (or at least one that’s perfect for the task and moment), and since that inevitably takes a decent chunk of time, I end up postponing and postponing it. The truth is, though, that a good-enough filing system would probably be fine.
Are you a perfectionist?