I have a problem with being a perfectionist. I like to be super neat and organized, and sometimes I get a little bit stressed if I can’t keep everything perfect. In recent years, I have learned to STOP that! But sometimes, I still struggle with it.
Recently, I was sick for a few weeks and a friend came over to help me catch up with chores and house cleaning. Of course he didn’t do things the way I did. He didn’t sweep every corner of the floor to get all the fuzz balls. He didn’t wipe the windows until they were spotless. I was also doing a bunch of work to catch up, and I had to stop myself from re-doing the less than perfect things.
I have two little kids at a home and I’m self-employed, (a wonderful new development!) There is no way I can be the best at everything. It reminded me of a time in my early 20s when I was a supervisor in a department store. I had a hard time delegating tasks to other employees because I wanted every bit of of my department to be perfect. But the thing is, in a store with thousands of customers every day…nothing is going to be or remain perfect. You have to meet a happy medium where everything is functional, nice and good enough. Not only is that a crucial lesson for managers, but it’s a crucial lesson for life. Especially if you have kids, pets, a spouse, or a roommate, you have to compromise and stop trying to be the best at everything.
Thinking back to an economics class I took in college: you may be the absolute best at a lower level job, and you maybe “just” pretty good at a better paying job, but it’s still better to take the pretty good position over the perfect position because you can go farther with it. Why limit yourself to being perfect at something that isn’t as important when you can have something better? And so with cleaning my house…do I want the absolute cleanest kitchen floor in town? Or do I want an okay floor and a great day with my family? Sometimes you have to let go of perfect and choose good enough because good enough is better for you.
Letting the little things be less-than-perfect helps reduce stress and helps improve your quality of life. In the end, all those little things won’t matter. It’s hard to let go of trying to be perfect at everything, but it’s something I am learning to do.