Less Instagram, more TikTok
WASTING TIME AND NEED A SMART TRICK TO OVERCOME THIS?
A LESSON FROM PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
THE HI-TECH MINDSET CHANGE
Agile programming embraced this philosophy with a focus on quick useful releases that are good enough and that may be improved upon later depending upon User priorities.
As we use more technology, we’ve become tolerant of glitches as an inevitable part of our hi-tech journey. It helps that most platforms have easy ways for us to report what’s gone wrong as well as tracking user experience in the background. We increasingly expect technology to make things a whole lot easier for us.
We accept that the trade-off of quick convenience is ongoing change and development. So our global mindset is more tolerant of things that are a “work in progress” rather than a perfect finished end result. Hold that thought!
NOW FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY
A meta-study* comprising 95 studies on perfectionism found that performance and perfectionism were not related to each other. Perfectionists are not better or worse performers than non-perfectionists. Let that sink in for a moment.
LESS INSTAGRAM, MORE TIKTOK
But wait, Voltaire told us this 250 years ago: “The best is the enemy of the good”.
INTRODUCING MINIMUM VIABLE OUTPUT
Output is the stuff you produce. Not to be confused with input or activities, because these are what you do but not what you achieve. So going to a meeting is an activity, as is most of the stuff done at companies every day. An output is a tangible result of all that activity, say landing a new client, publishing a book, reducing carbon emission instead of talking about it etc.
What if we used the same approach as those astute marketers who focus on their minimum viable product? What if we called this our Minimum Viable Output (MVO – trademark pending!). In other words, what would your output look like if it were good enough (not perfect, but fit for purpose) for you to push it out there?
It’s a powerful way to reframe your mind. So you get to focus not on perfectionism but on completing something to acceptable standards. And then moving your energy elsewhere.
TRY THIS OUT FOR YOURSELF
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH ALL THAT TIME YOU SAVE?
So next time you find yourself over-investing your time to poor effect, ask yourself this question: What does the minimum viable output look like for this task?
If you get this right, you’ll be freeing up a large amount of time to spend on more important stuff. You’ll have released yourself from the tyranny of impossible standards. And that’s going to feel really good.
* The Pros and Cons of Perfectionism, by Brian Swider, Dana Harari, Amy P Breidenthal and Laurens Bujold Steed, published by Harvard Business Review on 27 December 2018