Applying “Good Enough”
Be careful here – the next exercise looks simple but it’s actually pretty tricky.
- jot down a short list of some of the things in your (working?) life that you do quite often – and that don’t need to be done perfectly. Be honest. A single typo in a report doesn’t invalidate it all, no matter what your ego (or your boss) might think.
- For each item on that list give yourself a definition of what Good Enough looks like. Then have a cup of tea (coffee if you’re a heathen) to get your head clear.
- Now, for as many of those tasks as you feel you can handle, jot down how you’ll know that they’re good enough. How will you know you’ve got where you need to be, because in the heat of the moment you’ll get sucked in to the ‘Got to keep going until it’s perfect’ thing and spend more time on it than you need.
This is a harder exercise than it sounds. A dirty trick that many people find helpful is to split they ways you define “good enough” is to first as yourself
what criteria am I going to use?
and then to ask yourself, as a separate question
at what threshold on that criteria will I have reached good enough?
And example will probably help: what does good enough look like for road safety? The criteria to control/judge things by is speed and the threshold is 30 MPH in urban areas in the UK!
Side note: allow a margin of error here! And consider experimenting with less-critical things first. If you’re a brain surgeon you might be able redefine “Good Enough” for your household hygiene but you’d not want to do the same for your operating theatre!