Perfect is the enemy of done

You can spend 80% of your time in the details.

The initial grand idea always seems to be the most significant challenge to starting any project, but the devil really is in the details.

Creating the foundation of the work always appears to be the hardest part as it always contains the unknowns. This is where the big questions lie and it often requires the difficult problem-solving. Once that is in place though, this is when the large majority of the work begins. All of the micro-decisions that require trial and error and tweaking are the ones that will eventually lead to creating something good, not something average. This, however, always requires a lot of time.

The truth is that the details can always be improved and that perfect will always seem further and further away. Without proper management, reaching perfection may require even more than 80% of your time. The key is understanding at what point we are creating diminishing returns on our input.

We need to focus on the details as we cannot create something bad. However, we also need to know when to stop perfecting and start moving.

Perfect is the enemy of done.

(Adapted from Voltaire’s Perfect is the opposite of good)