Details are great when necessary, but sometimes they just don’t matter. That’s why I’m keeping this blog post short and simple. Because if I can get my message across in 500 words and get you to take action, that’s much better than wasting my time and your time writing more.
Sometimes details aren’t worth obsessing over, but we still do it, because many of us have an addiction to perfection. Even I used to.
Sometimes I’d catch myself reading emails three and four times before I send them, color coding and organizing spreadsheets that only I read and used, editing, proofreading, and wasting time touching up documents that honestly just didn’t need it.
But one day I became aware of this addiction and I was able to develop new habits to ensure it never wasted my time again.
Here’s exactly how I did it, and how you can do it too.
When Nitpicking Attacks - Just Ship It
Nitpicking over details is the case for many people in all walks of life. At a certain you have to realize that things are “done enough.” At that point the hours you put in will no longer be as effective as they were in the beginning. Your additional efforts, while they mean well, will reach a point of diminishing returns where the additional work you put in just gets less and less effective.
It will cost you more (in opportunity cost of time) to not get something done than it will to stop nitpicking and just close the book.
It’s at this point in the productivity world when we say. It’s time to “Ship It.”
Get it out the door. Let people experience what you’ve created!
This same lesson can be applied to your daily output in any sort of productive activity. Just by realizing when you’re wasting time with details and things are probably good enough, you can save hours per week that you can easily devote to something else much more productive.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want you to short change things that really need to be done, but I do want to you realize that from time to time, things don’t always have to be 100% perfect before you move onto the next thing.
Nitpicking kills productivity. Obsessing over pointless details wastes time. Do yourself a favor and take that time back. Devote it to something that weighs much more on the scale of truly productive tasks.
Your Calls to Action
Your calls to action here are simple:
- Realize when you might be nitpicking over details that probably don’t matter. Ask yourself “Does this really affect the bottom line? Is there something else better I could be doing?”
- When you catch yourself obsessing and nitpicking, tell yourself “That’s not like me. I am a productive and effective person who maximizes total output”, then move onto something else more productive.
- Work to arrange tasks throughout your day that maximize output at all times. Avoid nitpicking entirely.
- Repeat this process consciously for at least a month to ingrain your new productive habits.
If you can do this, you’ll notice massive gains in your output. You’ll break your habit of obsession over details and you’ll program yourself to focus on high output activities only. And that’s a great step towards becoming a much more productive person!