Pragmatism vs perfectionism

Written on 25 January 2018, 10:22pm

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Exactly one year ago I wrote this post – Just do it!.

The key message was to simply start working on things and have a pragmatic approach. A concrete example was about writing a blog post:

I can publish the post after that hour or I can spend more time later polishing it and making it perfect. […] The extra couple hours I could spend polishing it won’t make a massive difference in the number of people who read and benefit from this post.

Sara Mauskopf — Force yourself to do things imperfectly

I thought about this today when reading this (highlights mine):

Randomly think of a thing. Let it bump around your head a bit. If the bumping gets too loud, start writing the words with the nearest writing device. See how far you get. […] Stop when it suits you.

Wait for time to pass and see if the bumping sound returns. Reread what you’ve written so far and find if it inspires you. […] Stop writing and wait for more bumping.

Repeat until it starts to feel done in your head. If it’s handwritten, type it into a computing device. When you are close to done, print it out on paper. Sit somewhere else with your favorite pen and edit your work harshly. If this piece is important, let someone else edit harshly.

Michael Lopp — How to Write a Blog Post

So, which one is it?

I guess it depends on the situation. I can certainly see benefits in both the pragmatic and the perfectionist approach. But since I wrote this post in less than 5 minutes I guess I’m leaning more to the pragmatic side… 🙂

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