Developing good habits makes life run so much more smoothly. Bad habits – combined with random poor choices – makes everything much less easy. Doing good work makes life simpler because you don’t need to fix it, repeat it, or apologize for it nearly as often. On the other end of the scale is the striving for perfect habits or perfect work.
Sometimes we do a really good – nearly perfect – job at something but my experience has been more that aiming for that perfect keeps us from being happy with the pretty darn good. Or keeps us from starting in the first place, knowing we won’t hit that “perfect”. Hello, procrastination.
In my late 20s I started trying to do good more than perfect. Good and done gets you much further than perfect and not done. Good habits, tweaked and refined, get you so much further than not bothering at all. Screwing up is to be expected but if you get the fixing and being embarrassed over quickly, you can get back into the the doing good.
I have a few innocuous good habits that make my life simpler. One of those is tiny: I load the coffee maker the night before. Another is less tiny: I meal plan the week, each week. For work, I batch shipping, production, material prepping wherever I can. When there’s an order for an item that isn’t made yet, I always make extra. I ship in the mornings instead of as orders come in.
There are quite a lot of good work habits I’m trying to adopt: keeping to my production schedule more rigorously. Keeping up the social media for my various projects. I fail at them all of the time but I’m also trying again or changing it a little and trying it again.
“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire
I love quotes and this one is one of the ones in my notebooks. I usually have a friendly relationship with busy but there are always points where it feels like the projects are stacking up too high. Right around that point, everything feels busy but not as if it’s accomplishing much.
Of course, then you knock a few things off the to-do list, have a cup of coffee, and take a few minutes to breathe. It doesn’t necessarily fix everything but it’s a bit of a reset.
The best tip for avoiding being so busy your life feels empty? Learn how not to pick up every project ever. I’m still working on that one.
I was clicking through writing prompts on the internet – something, anything to give me an idea to write that wasn’t just a ‘buy my beads, they’re really cute’ post – and one of the prompts was: Pick a meaningful quote. Why is it meaningful?
Ah! Quotes! That I can do. One of my favourites is by Voltaire and is approximately: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”
Of course, it’s also why I hadn’t updated. I could have pointed out that I had been busily fixing errors on my website here, adding canes to the webshop, adding gift certificates to my Etsy and ArtFire Shops, making gifts for relatives, formatting tutorials for pdfs to be released on ClayLessons.com, tidying up my studio, bullying my boyfriend into actually doing his gift shopping and wrapping up 2009 as a year.
That’s so blah. No pictures. So I didn’t write it. Because it wasn’t perfect, only good.
So there’s a trap I still have to drag myself out of all the time. Not to let the perfect prevent me from doing something good.
The cute cat picture at the top? Absolutely nothing to do with the post beyond being some eye candy. He’s FireHeart, a friends cat, and he was enjoying his role as doormat.