Keep Moving, it's Fine

Written on 2018-03-22 by John Meschke

One might think that having an obsessive-compulsive attitude towards their work would be producing quality results day in and day out. After all, if you're nitpicking at all the little details and correcting every little flaw, there is nothing but perfection, right? Well, this may be true at first, but it can quickly lead to burnout, disinterest, and lower quality results in the long term. Why is this?

Suppose we look at Allen the artist and Belle the blogger to provide us with differing character traits. Allen specializes in science fiction city and character illustrations and Belle specializes in writing about shopping and entertainment locales in nearby cities. Both of them are very passionate about what they do, dedicating several hours per day to their craft. Allen has the mentality of perfection in every piece he does, only revealing his work when he feels it's finished while focusing sharply on one body of work at a time. He may toss away a piece that took hours of effort if it didn't live up to his vision. Belle writes what's in her mind and shares it as soon as possible because the excitement of reaching out to her readers is worthwhile to her. She may have several articles in the works at a time, switching between them when hitting a mental block or when a work in progress isn't that interesting. The advantages Belle has over Allen will build her potential more effectively.

First, by working through multiple projects at a higher rate even with a few flaws, Belle is gaining more experience and feedback at a greater rate. Because of her dedicated readership and communication, Belle is able to learn what works for her fans and what mistakes she needs to correct in the future. Once an article is written, she won't go back to rewrite parts of it. What's said is done and it's time to move on. Allen in this case is missing out on opportunities to expand when he's only expecting praise and avoiding criticism.

Second, Belle isn't getting burned out or disinterested nearly as much as Allen. She has multiple projects to switch between and there's always something new and interesting to share. Her strict deadlines keep her focused on the things that matter. Allen, while passionate, becomes disengaged from his work, causing him to put less effort forward from day to day.

Last of all, in today's world where consistent content creation is vital to getting name recognition, sharing a lot and sharing often is a highly valuable strategy. Belle knows this and sticks to a schedule of one article per Friday where her readers can confidently expect something new and interesting at the end of the work week. This keeps her audience engaged and coming back. Allen could benefit by sharing works in progress to get a feel for what his fan base is interested in.

While these are fictional people, you're likely to identify with their personality types. Think of what you're passionate about. Are you focusing way too much on the little details? Maybe moving on to the next project or sharing what you currently have could be the kick you need to grow.