WDYT 10/2020: Recognize When 80 Percent is Enough

Christian Heise
2 min readOct 31, 2020


Tulipa “Grand Perfection” CC0

Some of us are perfectionists by nature. Others have been taught to be sure that everything is 100% right before turning it in, releasing it, or handing it off to a client. But we may be shooting for perfection based on assumptions that may not be complete or correct. How can we prioritise and deliver good outcomes? Maybe there is another way.

Often when developing a project, product, or initiative, our goal is the perfect solution. We think, we tweak, we revise, we polish until we believe we have reached perfection. That is a worthy goal. However, how often do we know everything we need to know to make that happen? How often do we get to market or listen to our client or boss’s response and find out something isn’t right because there was something we didn’t know?

What if we took a step back and recognized when 80 percent is enough. What if we took what we had, executed quickly, and shot for “good enough for now.” We could take that idea or project to our customers or stakeholders good enough to provide value but not yet finished, not quite perfect, and see what happens. The feedback we receive from our not quite perfect project may be just what we need. It may take some of the guesswork out of that target of perfection.

Also, it is not just about the project. None of us have infinite time or energy. When we recognize those times when 80 percent is enough, we stop pouring our souls into the pursuit of an unobtainable level of perfection. We get some of that time and energy back. Creating balance in our lives is essential. This shift in thinking might be better for your well-being and that of those around you. What do you think?

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