I'm a list maker. Groceries, Halloween costume ideas, plays I want to see, what I might want for dinner that night, you name it, I probably have a list for it. "To do" lists are, therefore, part of my everyday routine which involves versions of asking myself the following: What's on the list for today? What order should I go in? What goes on the list for tomorrow? The thing about to do lists, is that unlike the other lists, they only work if you have a "by" aka a DEADLINE. I will do X by Y.
One of the most helpful and frightening things I've done over the past year, is set deadlines for myself. Take this blog for example. It was something I had long wanted to do and I found myself out of excuses or reasons not to do it. Is it perfect? Not at all. I have adjusted everything from physical look to posting schedule along the way and will continue to do so as time goes on. I can't even begin to imagine what a "perfect blog" would entail nor do I think it's possible to ever have one. This past Monday, I attended an event with Six Degrees Society (awesome events and networking company for young professions- highly recommend checking it out!) which was focused on starting a business. During the formal presentation, I was reminded of a phrase one of my college professors often used. I forget the exact wording but it was along the lines of, don't let the perfect ruin the good. In other words, perfection is not the goal and if you try to make it such, you will probably ruin or even miss out on some really great things.
It takes a lot of work to adjust to a "I don't need perfect" mindset, especially for those of us who are Type A, but once you start, it is really liberating. (Am I getting too woo-woo?) Perfection, and the pursuit of it, can be paralyzing. For me, taking no action is a much bigger failure than doing something and later adjusting course. In fact, I view failure as inaction and believe that everything else is just a different outcome than the one you anticipated. Think of it this way, imagine you are going on a road trip and you have the following two options:
- You can take the correct route, but you will start out in standstill traffic for 2 hours OR
- You take a wrong turn and have to turnaround without any major delays to your trip
It seems like a no-brainer right?
Do you set deadlines? What's the worst traffic jam you've ever been in?