Perfectionism: Is It Ruining You and Your Career?
The most important, concept that will serve as your antidote to the plateau of perfectionism: satisficing, a combination of the words satisfactory and suffice. With every task you undertake – raising children, painting a Starbucks window, writing ad copy, making dinner – your goal should be to do satisfactory work that is satisfying to you and its consumers, but at the same time is just enough to be sufficient. Satisficing takes much more into consideration than results: it weighs equally the pain and the process that are required to achieve a result.
Search costs, for example: You might want to make the best salsa you've ever eaten, but that would require acquisition of the freshest vegetables. If the farmer's market doesn't open until tomorrow morning, and the guests are coming tonight, then you'll have to do with the more pedestrian tomatoes from the corner grocery store. Modern economists and behaviorists sometimes call this more realistic decision-making process "bounded rationality" -- because a "fully rational" decision-making process which consider all options is impossible in the real world, decision makers simplify by self-limiting, or creating a boundary around, their options.
We just call it one of the keys to breaking through your plateaus.
Excerpt from THE PLATEAU EFFECT © 2013 by Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson. Published by Dutton, A Member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Excerpted with permission from the publisher. All Rights Reserved.