Focus on the Outcome Not How You Get there

Perfectionism

As I was sitting here wanting to write this article, I was confounded by a super-important problem; what to use for the title. I’ve now spent five whole minutes just thinking about what to call a blog article before even writing a single word!

Which gave me an idea…

Write an article about my own, personal mistakes and help the Internet at large learn from them!

See, I’m an engineer and have been for a long time. For whatever reason, I think that a task should be completed from A-Z. There’s none of that A → V → C → Z stuff. Nope! We’re staying the course and sticking to that rigid A, B, C… routine no matter what! At least that’s what my brain tells me.

When writing a blog article, what’s at the top? A title. For my brain and many others, that’s the first thing that should be decided on.

Oh, and you must write a perfect title and text in the first go around. There is no such thing as a “rough” draft for my brain. No way! If the article requires editing after the fact my brain tells me I’m a failure. Which is why I was stuck on thinking about a title for a simple blog post for five entire minutes!

It’s not natural for me to just dive into something without some kind of plan in my head and haphazardly insert text here and there all willy-nilly and then come up with a title.

I blame my school teachers.

In school, most teachers told you to come up with an outline first before writing the paper. Writing this outline was required. If the outline wasn’t done and turned in before the report you failed. For some people, this may have been natural but it never was for me.

I didn’t know what I wanted to write until I started writing it. I still don’t! I’m terrible at coming up with those outlines but for some reason, that mentality is still stuck in my head. I write (and think) seemingly at random. The juices don’t start flowing and a rough mental model of what I’m doing doesn’t appear until I’ve started the actual project.

My brain can’t seem to think up content until it gets cues from other content. The same goes for my memory. It’s extremely difficult for me to pull a memory from my childhood out of thin air but as soon as my family reminds of that one time, it all starts coming back to me.

Are you like this? If so, here’s what you should do:

Produce how you work best; not how other people or even your brain expect you to.

If you have this mental argument in your head thinking, “I’m taking forever on this title. I just need to get started” or “This task is frivolous. Why am I wasting so much time to get this perfect?” then stop. Answer yourself honestly and move on.

  • The project doesn’t have to be perfect
  • Every task doesn’t have to follow a straight line
  • Every I doesn’t need to be dotted and every T crossed
  • Just “Get Shit Done

P.S. This article was originally intended to be one about putting labels on people. I haven’t a clue how it became what it is and neither do I care. Reviewing the article now looks like it became something completely different and that’s fine with me! A simple tweak of the title and voila, a completely different topic!

A 20-year veteran of IT, crypto geek, content creator, consultant and overall problem solver.