Don’t let the perfect be enemy of the good

The first quarter of the year is over, and I am scared how fast the time past!
I haven’t written any blog post for whole tree months, but I did spend a lot of time on this blog during this stage. The result: Stress-free Freelancing runs now on wordpress.org, it has a new look, which you hopefully like and I learned a few valuable lessons regarding perfection, time management and priorities, that I’d like to share with you.

I started the year with the goal to develop my freelance business—Carta Nova—further but first I wanted to bring this blog into shape. That means to make it look prettier, to have the opportunity to upload shareable PDFs and also the option for a mailing list. I thought it would be a couple of hours work, but I wanted it to be perfect. The trouble is

Perfection takes time

And in the most cases, it is not necessary.
The more time you spent with one thing, the more new ideas you are going to have how you can make it better. This is great, but there is also a danger to get lost. There is always one more thing that you can improve, one more colour you can try for the logo or one more fancy plugin to install for better performance. If you want to complete all this before you move ahead, you will never move ahead. A Blog or a website is a living thing that grows through its content. The design can be adjusted “on the way”, and it is not a splendid idea to stop posting till the design is perfect.

The better approach would be to get the necessary done and move ahead. For the beginning, this is enough. The difficult question here is how to find out what is needed?
Those are the things that can not be replaced or if they are missed something is not going to work. For example a bike without gear or a website without a contact page. You need at least one speed to be able to ride and need one mailbox where people can find you and talk to you. It is nice to have a pink bar tape or even a basket on your bike, but you don’t need those to ride it, and for sure you don’t need them at the beginning.

Improvements need small regular steps

This is challenging if you have a day job like me, but it is not impossible. Don’t try to finish everything on one day, try to find one hour per day for your project. This is enough time to complete small tasks which will bring your project near to perfection. It doesn’t sound a lot, but you will be surprised how much you can achieve in one hour. The secret for the best use of time for this hour is to decide in advance what you like to do. You know what needs to be done in general. Now you can split this into small steps. During the day when you think of your project take notes for the tasks that you would work on in the evening. I work that way since I have multiple jobs and recently  I heard the same suggestion from Chris Guillebeau in his Side Hustle School Podcast, and it was an excellent proof to have.

One other thing that helps to stay on track and to feel better about the own progress is to write a list of success. You can just strike out the items on your to-do list. Or you can write what you have achieved each day. Through writing, you get aware of your achievements, and you literally can see and feel your progress. This motivates and you make steps towards your goal!

And that’s it. After spending weeks and weekends changing WordPress templates, fonts and colours instead of writing here my most precious advice for today is keep it simple. When it becomes too complicated, take a step back and think if you can make it in a easier way.

Credits

To make this post fulfilled here the credits to the people who helped me to move ahead the last few months: Chris Guillebeau and his podcast the Side Hustle School—a highly recommended resource for those of you seeking for hustle ideas or for actionable steps to develop ideas. In one of his shows, Chriss presented Shanon who started her side hustle teaching people how to design WordPress pages. I didn’t believe that this would help me—I expected full of techie stuff workshop, but I checked it—and I was delighted: the five days free WordPress workshop contains five videos, each more than an hour long with a step by step navigation through the WordPress.org. It is easy to understand and to follow, and at the end, you have a website, that works, looks great and also have all of the tech background stuff like SEO, Google Analytics and all the essential plugins correctly set up.

This blog is still not perfect, and there are plenty of things I need to develop. One of those is a mailing list, and for this, I subscribe to the 3o days’ challenge from Nathalie Lussier. For now, if you want to follow me you can subscribe to my list at the bottom of this post. All other specials will come step by step later. As I said: don’t let the perfect be an enemy of the good.

Happy Easter!

Best, Eva

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