Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Equator of Completion

Good enough isn't. Perfection is the enemy of progress. Both statements are true but it can be hard to balance our selves between them.

Good enough isn't: People will tell us this when they are trying to get us to do a better job, when they think we are slacking or when something is not done to their standards. The truth of the matter is it can be easy to quit early. We work on a project and get it done except for a few pesky details that are not all that important, we decide not to paint under the eaves or maybe we stop cleaning before we get to the hall closet. The point is any time we stop working on something when we know that there is just a little more to do in order to do it right we are selling ourselves short. If we do this on a regular basis we get known for shoddy work, and as I have mentioned before we act the way people expect us to.

Perfection is the enemy of progress: In 1997 the game Duke Nukem Forever was announced year after year press releases and release dates would come and go and the game would not come out. The rumor is that the game desirers wanted to make the perfect video game; every time the hardware got better they rebuilt the game to take advantage of it. The problem is if we struggle for perfection we find ourselves like the producers of Duke Nukem working on the same thing for 12 years and having nothing to show for it.

What we need to be able to do is consistently work to the best of our abilities without getting hung up on perfection. One variable in this equation is the cost of a project which is more than just the money put in to it. Our time and our effort are equally limited resources and we must know how to spend them most effectively.

The am I proud of this test: My way of staying balanced between the two poles of slack and obsession is simple. When I think I am done with a project I ask myself would I be exited to show off my work on this to friends? Could I feel good bragging about this? If I answer yes to that question then I am probably done.

Editing Project: Passion gaming and work


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