I’ve been grappling with the idea of “grace” lately. And not the religious or spiritual kind. As you might know, I moved to a new place three weeks ago. Since moving here, I’ve already gone on two trips. But to me, it feels like I’ve been here forever and why haven’t I already organized everything and put decor on the walls? If it was any other person, I’d tell them to take their time but since it’s me, I feel like I’m lacking that same patience and grace

My therapist today told me that, “The only difference between being detail-oriented and perfectionist is the self-blame.” Of course, she dropped this bomb at the end of the session and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this since then.

“Done is better than perfect” is another slogan that I’ve tried to work by. I swing between detail-oriented and being a perfectionist. I’m sure some of you reading are like this, too. There’s a need for marketers to be detail-oriented because we need to make sure that copy and images are just right. And that the targeting is just right. But who makes sure that WE are just right? This level of focus and control can’t be good for anyone.

So in the end, how do you deal with it all? I tend to go straight into strategy and process rework. Sometimes, I go too far into a process and realize that the process might not be used by everyone I designed it for. When this happens, I have to rein myself back and make sure the client is able to execute what I designed. 

Process, checklists, clear documentation that isn’t only understandable to you, and two-way communication are all things I do to make sure I don’t fall into the trap of perfectionism. There are necessary things to have in marketing (like a strategy document) and then there are nice to haves (like cute stickers). Don’t get wrapped up into thinking you need to have them all – give yourself some grace to say that maybe you can’t get it done now but you can certainly get it done in the future.