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Resolutions and “Good Enough”

January 7, 2010

It is January and it seems like everyone has gone resolution crazy. I’m not inherently against making resolutions and I’m especially not against self-improvement, but sometimes I think we get caught up in all the hype of resolutions that we try to strive for perfection. Perfection isn’t always the best resolution. Of course, there are times when perfection is called for, but for a lot of tasks and things in life, good enough is perfect.

Therefore, I bring to your attention this great post, Getting to Good Enough. Seriously, read this and try to apply some of the tips the next time you are feeling stuck and worried that your best effort won’t be perfect.

I am a really big fan of the concept of good enough. There are areas of my life where I want perfection, or I am willing to work a lot just to get a fraction of a percentage better. But, for the most part, there are a lot of tasks that aren’t worth losing sleep or hours of time over. Think of the Web 2.0 concept of prototyping and perpetual beta. It is okay to build, test, revise, and then let it go. In libraryland, this concept could help us get over our fear that our websites need to be perfect and set in stone before we open them up to the public. Or that we need to have agonized over a new program or service for months before seeing if our patrons actually use it. Think beta and get moving.

One of the most common resolutions I have heard this month is that people want to get more organized. Who can argue with that? Organization is key to being effective and efficient at your work and life, but don’t forget The Lost Rule of Organizing. Remember the law of diminishing returns and that good enough really is good enough. This post makes me feel a lot better about the junk drawer in my desk at work and in my kitchen at home.

Finally, because it just wouldn’t be a post without a list, here is Lifehacker’s The Best of 2009 Recap. Lots of great posts and tips in this list.

Remember that you don’t have to be perfect to be great and that if it really is about the journey and not the destination, then you better stop worrying about being perfect and start moving.

Have a very happy 2010, read a lot, and the Waki Librarian will be back next week with reports from the ALISE Conference in Boston (as long as the wifi is working).

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