Pushing Past Perfectionism

Ashli Nixon

I've been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. When I feel the need to be perfect, I freeze with fear. It becomes near impossible to push "Share Screen" before showing a client a design. It's difficult to hire a teammate if I'm scared they will make a mistake (they will, as will I). It's hard to celebrate completion of work if I'm preoccupied with the one thing I didn't get done.

I often imagine this as a horizontal line. One the left side is complete inaction and on the right side is complete perfection. Goooodness, I love getting as far to the right as I possibly can, every single day. But in reality, it's an impossible place to stay, and so I find myself bouncing between these two extremes. It's exhausting!

I've been thinking about how to make incremental changes to move along this line and away from frozen inaction, but with a goal of landing in the middle, and not even entertaining that perfectionism side.

For me, the middle looks something like:

  • Skipping last week's newsletter because I was very busy with a deadline
  • Allowing teammates to sit with a complicated problem for a bit before jumping in to help (and bonus: we all learn better when we can solve our own problems!)
  • Honoring the end of my work day at 4pm, even if I didn't accomplish everything
  • Sharing work before it's "pixel perfect", and allowing clients into the collaborative design process

So here's to aiming intentionally for the messy middle. It's kinda great here.

A Resource

I have tried probably every to do list app on the market. Todoist, Mindlist, Monday.com, Asana, Trello, OmniFocus.... to name a few.

I keep coming back to TeuxDeux. I started using it in 2012ish (!!!). The interface looks exactly the same today as it did then. I love the week view and the wild simplicity of it. I made the site my browser home screen a few weeks ago and it's been enjoyable to use. And, per the note above, I'm working on creating lists for each day that feel realistic, and just bump it to the next day if needed.

Random Roundup

  • I listen to a lot of heavy podcasts and have been needing something lighter and just for fun. I binged right through Scamanda and The Girlfriends and really enjoyed them both.
  • We launched a fresh home page design for Primally Pure last week. They've been a client for many years, and it's always fun evolving brands incrementally and strategically.

Have a great week!