Being productive is the ability of doing just what is required, in the order of importance, without wasting the valuable time.
This simple definition of being productive has been misunderstood by a lot of people. Instead, they have started focusing on being perfect than doing the right thing at the right time, in time. This race of being a perfectionist will drag you down most of the time, so, let’s find a way to overcome this mania.
You would want to start your own business. If you will not make the effort to take that very first step just because YOU think that you don't have the perfect skills, just drop the idea - drop the idea of thinking that you are not perfect.
Maybe you are practicing and doing everything right in that direction. But if you are not putting your foot forward because you are afraid of being judged by people, just drop the idea - drop the idea of staying back.
You want to present yourself in the most impressive way so that others don't criticize you. You want others to praise you and accept you happily all the time, every time. You are not the type of person who can accept criticism or feelings but the good news is that it is not permanent.
It is in the mind. Thoughts are like soap bubbles in the mind - they burst, and form again, but in different sizes.
To pull you out from the perfect zone, I have following 3 statements to make:
1. You will never reach there
Whatever is the perfect picture of your work, you won’t ever be satisfied. Even if you put all your efforts and hard work into it, you’ll always feel that something more can be added and it can be improved.
Yes, it can be improved for sure, but please keep these thoughts at bay and let them come back later. Release your work and let people see.
Not perfect? Perfectly fine! Gather comments, accept feedback and take this as a journey. Even Google has not reached perfection yet. If it would have been waiting to become what it is today, the world would have missed out a big thing Google. Understanding the point?
By not allowing your users to see what you are doing because you think it is NOT perfect, you’re just making a BIG mistake.
2. Your fight is building up greater competition around you
Do you know what will happen when all the time you will still be polishing your work?
By then, some other people will be trying to make something in your own niche one-by-one - maybe something very similar. The only difference between you and them will be their product and services and their website and their blogs, whatever they will be ready with, they will be releasing everything in the RAW form.
Whatever it will be, they will be putting it out for everyone to see, try and comment. They won’t shoe polish it, they would just let it be without making it perfect.
In this course of events where others will have improved and brought in the amendments that the users actually suggested, what would you be doing? Still thinking about the colors and fonts! And, when you will come out of the cocoon with your piece, there’ll be so many great competitors who would have learned from the trends and interests of the audience. It’ll be a tough fight for you at that time.
That competition will take away the energy to grow further. The ways to be productive will be the last thing on your mind and things will fall flat.
3. Risk of failure - as a human - will increase
When you show your work, there’s an obvious feedback coming from everywhere. Let it be a positive one or a negative one, most importantly, let it be a driving one. Let the feedback grow your product. Let that feedback, corrections and improvements grow you as a person.
What would happen if people ultimately reject your finest work that took you so long? It would be a heartbreak. It is just going to stop you - it can stop you instantly or it can stop you later when you are done with your work with perfection. You could give up! You're a human.
Let me take an example from a personal life event. You have a task to set up your drawing room and you want people to think that your designs and decorations are perfect. You are spending all your time just cleaning up everything and leaving other important jobs. Then the day when guests arrive, they not even notice the intense shine on the armrest.
The idea is to tell you - do the basic important work and move on to the next important task. Waiting for things to go perfect might not even give you results, and eat up all your otherwise productive time.
Want to start a YouTube channel but fear coming in front of the camera because your skin is not ‘perfect’? Start with voice-overs. Learn to dress up well, and practice while not stopping to make new videos. Slowly, you will do it one day and by that time, you can become popular with your great content and knowledge. People would love what you have to offer.
Being a perfectionist sounds very fancy but it's a deciding factor for every aspect of your life as it can drive away your productive hours.
I have two simple things that you have to keep in mind every time you feel stuck and overwhelmed with work.
1. There is always room to make it better
So even if you reach YOUR level of perfection, it will never be up to the level of greatness for others. Therefore just show the world what you’ve got, get the feedback and keep working upon it. Let people know that you have this in your mind and you are working on it. Let people be stopped on knowing your good.
2. Just know this fact that your time is precious for you as well as for others
You’re making this product and if you are going to waste all your time refining it, you are losing your time and even others are losing time without your product. Let it go out. In whole of the world, it is you who were going to build that. You were going to give that service to others, nobody else can do that in the way that you can. Don't make others wait and don't make yourself wait to see how it works out.
This attitude was inside my head too that until and unless I don't do anything in the best possible manner, nobody is going to listen to me. I was in this stupid notion. Until and unless I had the most beautiful and perfect website, the perfect subscription form, I won't reach out to people. I wasted a lot of months in just getting things ready.
Get ready with your first basic word. Let it out, get the feedback and keep working on it, keep doing it back and forth. That is going to make your product improved and a very high quality one. Maybe you will be the best out of all available products in your niche, now that’s a great achievement!
This perfection shell is going to give you no love, no money and no respect.
I know there is a little voice in your head that keeps on poking and tells you to put it in a straight line, make a perfect circle, pull it right, push it left, and what not. Slap it and you continue, because you’re creating something unique.