Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash
Do you ever look at a perfectly displayed and organised home on Instagram or in a magazine and think that my house will never look like that and as a result decide not to bother getting organised? Or do you spend too much time trying to create a perfect organising system but never get it done because you cannot get it perfect?
Does this sound like you?
Then keep reading.
The truth is you can have an organised home or a new organising system in your life, even if it’s not going to be perfect.
By saying goodbye to perfection.
Okay, this may be easier said than done, but the truth is perfectionism may be stopping you from getting organised and achieving your goals. Wanting things to be perfect may be preventing you from completing tasks and moving forward until you have done it perfectly.
For example, you want to pursue your interest in baking but won’t start because you want your kitchen to be perfect with, the best appliances, utensils and storage containers or until you have read all the latest cookbooks and watched every YouTube video on baking. But the truth is being a baker is not about having a perfect kitchen or the best appliances yes they may help, but the only way to be a baker is to start baking. So ultimately your need for perfection is stopping you from doing something you genuinely value, baking.
Saying goodbye to perfection is not easy. How do you say goodbye to perfect when we see perfect every day in advertising and social media.
Here are 3 strategies I have implemented to help me let go of perfection.
1. Focusing on Better Rather than Perfect
Start to shift your mindset from perfect to better. What we did today, was better than what we did yesterday and acknowledge that it doesn’t need to be perfect today. Focusing on better is something I do when I work with clients I help them create a better space rather than creating a perfect Instagram worthy organising solution. It’s about creating an area that is better for the client than what it was before. An organised space that helps to take away the stress and the overwhelm my clients are experiencing due to the clutter and disorganisation.
For example, using a simple shoebox to organise craft supplies can work well for storing craft supplies, rather than spending time and money sourcing the best storage container. While the shoebox may not be the “perfect” storage solution, it is better than having craft supplies scatted all over the house.
So start to move away from perfect and begin to focus on better – a better home and a better life.
2. Know That You Can Edit Later
Embracing editing is a great way to let go of perfection and get things done.
As editing allows you to get things done, knowing that you can tweak it later. Editing gives you permission to implement something, test it and make changes where required accepting that it doesn’t need to be perfect from the start.
For example, that shoebox used to store craft supplies has been working great in keeping all the craft supplies together, but after testing this solution for a few months, you discover that it is hard to find small items as they are hidden behind larger ones, so you decide to upgrade to a container with compartments.
Editing is something I have embraced from how I live in my apartment to how I organise my wardrobe. It’s about getting things done, testing how things work and making changes where required, rather than staying stuck on trying to find the perfect solution from the start.
3. Accepting That 80% Is Better 100%
There are going to be times when you need to accept that 80% complete/ perfect is okay.
This is critical.
Because in many cases the extra effort and time getting something to 100% perfect is not worth the value.
It doesn’t mean that you produce poor quality or unsafe work it just means that sometimes solutions, products, or systems that are 80% perfect is sufficient and the time and effort to get it to 100% is not going to add much more benefit to your life. So always question is the extra effort worth the value.
I do this for a lot of tasks where I see myself spending too much time on something and question if this extra work is worth it and in many cases, it’s not.
I’m currently working with a writer to organise their paperwork/ research material for various books they want to write. When we started working together, there were papers on each topic spread out across the house. So we needed to organise the documents but rather than focusing on establishing the perfect filing system with categories and subcategories we merely placed all the paperwork relating to each book in an individual archive box. Yes, we could have spent more time creating files and subfiles for each of the paperwork (the 100%), but doing so would have slowed the process down, and my client would still be drowning in paperwork. We plan to do some editing in the future and categorise the research material, but right now my client is happy that all her documents are contained in one location.
Off course there are times when 100% is a must especially when it comes to our health and safety. And this is something that you will need to assess based on the task at hand. I know I wouldn’t want to fly on a plane that was only 80% perfect. You will need to make your own assessment when 100% is the only option.
If you are unable to get things done because you are stuck on wanting things perfect from the start, remember behind every beautiful piece of art, beautiful building, successful business person, there was failures, first attempts and struggles, nothing was ever created correctly.
Let’s say goodbye to perfect and focus on getting things done.
What is perfection stopping you from doing?