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Practical steps you can use

You’ve probably seen it, heard it or read it somewhere by now that it is better to be done than to be perfect (or some version of it). Maybe you had a similar experience like me when I first heard this phrase; I was excited, I felt I got a pass for dropping the ball, I secretly sighed and felt a little at ease that I could send an email that was not 100% grammatically correct or that it was ok to not deliver the prefect webinar or that I could actually go to bed not having every line on my to-do-list crossed off. 

The relief was short-lived though, you see it was tough to undo 3 decades of conditioning with hearing this statement just once. Don’t get me wrong, it was impactful and instrumental in bringing about change, something about it struck a chord, and it resonated with me at the core of my being. Like everything else it, it took time to make it a habit, implementing done over perfect

Perfection is not only impossible, it is also a way to keep you from moving forward as well as feed procrastination; perfection and procrastination go hand in hand. Working to achieve perfection (which is an illusion) keeps you stuck and from the good in life but it is possible to release the notion of perfect and start seeing progress. I found implementing these 3 practical steps helped me to do more, make great strides in closing the gap between where I was and where I desired to be and reduced being BOP (burnt out, overwhelmed, & a procrastinator).

  • Follow the 80/20 rule

    Named after an Italian economist from the 19th century, the 80/20 rule is the Pareto Principle, which is also a law of nature and applicable in all areas of life. This principle posits that 80% of the effects in a situation come from 20% of the causes. Put another way, 80% of the results you achieve towards your goal comes from 20% of your actions You might be asking how is this applicable to better to be done than perfect? I’m glad you asked. Here’s how, instead of trying to do a job perfectly, getting to 100%, get to 80% and move on to the next will result in getting more done. Initially, it can be uncomfortable but over time, with practice and seeing the results it becomes easier to do. 

    Now I’m not saying to not strive for excellence, that is different from perfection, you can still exude excellence even with your 80%.  The 80/20 principle helps us achieve more, be more despite the limited time we have Besides, you can always make adjustments after the fact (most of the time).

Know your MVO

Identifying the MVO (minimum viable outcome) you are willing to accept for each decision you make is a neat little trick to help overcome procrastination and perfectionist tendencies. Your MVO is what you’ll be perfectly fine with accepting. You might be thinking this is easier said than done and that’s right. It will take time and practice to identify your MVO; everyone’s MVO is different and your MVO may vary depending on what you are working on. If you’re thinking an MVO isn’t that different from the 80/20 principle consider this. I have had days when everything seems like pushing a 10,000-pound boulder up the side of a hill and on those days I choose an MVO. Instead of reaching to achieve 80% on several tasks, I pick that one MVO that will still get me 2mm closer, it’s the one thing I can do. This helps to keep you in motion. 

Think of your MVO in this way; one strike of an axe will not cause the might oak tree to fall but one strike every day, cumulatively, will bring that oak tree down. The bottom line is having an MVO and following through will lead to more satisfaction, ultimately getting more done.

Release the need to compare

Theodore Rosevelt said comparison is the thief of joy. Not only does comparison suck the joy out of doing, it also hinders progress. Compare yourself, your work, your progress, your journey, your anything, to others and you are bound to feel inadequate and doomed. Comparison serves its purpose, it can be useful to differentiate and aid improvement. However, comparison that leads to self-destruction and hinders progress is no good. 

The really crazy part is we tend to take the strengths of others and compare them to our weaknesses; imagine the effects of such comparison, nothing you do would measure up. The end result, you remain stuck trying to measure up and get left behind.

Releasing such destructive comparisons allow you to put one foot in front of the other, make progress and get things done instead of trying to measure up to something or someone else.

I challenge you to use one or all of these 3 steps for no less than 90 days and see how much more you get done. Implementing and improving the 80/20 principle in any or all areas of your life, levelling up or having an MVO and paying attention to your progress rather than comparing yourself to someone 1000 steps or a lifetime ahead will getting you closer to where you desire to be.

Life is a journey, with the rewards at the end not at the beginning. We must take steps in the direction of our dreams in order to progress, waiting for perfection is waiting for a bus ride to nowhere.

Until next time, whatever you do, make a difference in your own way!


Ayana O


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Mindfulness coach Ayana Onuora systematically helped me make sense of all the things I wanted to accomplish, helped me align my energy with my goals and prioritize what was important. Even let go of things that didn’t serve me and delegate the necessary “evils”.. As a result, 2021 was my most successful and productive year yet!


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