Photo of a grass lawn with one blade of grass longer than the rest. A man is on the ground with a pair of scissors to cut the single blade of grass to match the rest.

Myopic Perfectionism:

An excessive focus on a single topic to the exclusion of other important topics; an obsessive interest or preoccupation with a particular subject to the detriment of a more balanced and well-rounded perspective; insufficient foresight or discernment, a narrow perspective without full understanding of broader implications.

Folks, there is NEVER enough time to do EVERYTHING particularly to perfection. Often the last 10 or 20% of a task can take as much time as the first 80 or 90% but have much less impact on your Desired Result as doing the first 80 or 90% of your next most important task. Remember! Anything above 90% is still an A! And perfect/finished can be hard to define in certain cases: What is ‘perfect’ landscaping? I can tell you good landscaping easy enough but perfect? Plus, individual opinions and personal taste (what does my Customer want? Which Customer?) may vary so much as to give minimal guidance. Ditto perfect décor or the even the perfect development/training/feedback process.

Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People tells us to focus on Big Rocks first and to fit lesser tasks around them. Excellent advice AND please remember as one works on a Big Rock it gets smaller and smaller and at some point, one should shift focus to other rocks that are now bigger.

There is a saying that when you solve your #1 problem, your #2 gets a promotion. The truth is that it is rare for a problem (or a class of problems) to be permanently and forever resolved; often it just gets moved down into the teens (problem #19) where it frequently starts to work its way back up. The good news is that as you see it coming you can use your experience to defuse it before it gets too far up the list.

This is all about intelligent discernment, wisdom, and good judgment. There is no one right answer to how best to allocate and organize your time; however, it helps to have a healthy understanding of the ‘Intolerable Cost of Myopic Perfectionism’.

Closing quotes:

“If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.” – Foundational Principle of Project Management

“The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained.” – Alexis Carrel

“Every Yes is a No to something else. Know what you are saying no to and why; be wary of prioritizing the loud, demanding ‘urgent’ over the quieter but far more important.” – NSC phrasing of an important truth often spoken yet less frequently followed

AI Footnote:

Good judgment, also known as sound judgment or wisdom, refers to the ability to make reasonable and sensible decisions based on a thoughtful evaluation of the available information, potential consequences, and relevant factors. It involves the capacity to assess situations objectively, consider various perspectives, and choose a course of action that aligns with ethical principles and common sense. Individuals with good judgment typically demonstrate a balance between critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and practical reasoning. They are capable of navigating complex situations, solving problems, and making choices that contribute to positive outcomes for themselves and others. Good judgment is a valuable trait in personal, professional, and social contexts.

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier