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Perfection Vs. Deadlines

We all face this tension between finishing a project to meet a deadline with the desire to make it perfect and realize our creative vision. Last night, I watched an episode of Iconoclasts with Mike Myers and Deepak Chopra. In it, Deepak Chopra describes how the god Siva destroys the world then takes time to pause and reflect on the destruction before creating the word again, thus continuing the cycle of creative evolution.  

In many respects, the digital tools afford us the opportunity for creative evolution. I know that I tend to over think projects and obsess over details. Sometimes, having a deadline is exactly what I need to focus my efforts on the substantive components of the project. Then, once the deadline has passed, I can reflect on the project and make changes if they improve the content. This helps me to focus on the bigger picture and not worry about every little detail.

With digital tools, this may be as simple as posting a new version to an FTP site or re-printing a photo a day later with fresh eyes and a clear mind. It’s an amazing opportunity that allows us to fail-forward and experiment with minimal consequences for mistakes. 

In a similar vein, Seth Godin posted a wonderful entry titled Is it Worthy? Within this tension between perfection and deadlines, is what you’re doing worthy of the passion you bring to your work? 

How do you strike a balance between perfection vs. deadlines? 


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