Issue 8: Doing The Bare Minimum.

Why do I always try to achieve the most amount of results with a minimal amount of work? I tend to do the bare minimum and try to milk as much as I can out of it. Keep in mind that I tend not to aim for 100% perfection, but expect at least a solid 70/80% whenever I do something. 

And now that I have physically written this question down the answer has come to me. It comes back to the 80/20 rule. It’s the idea that 80% of the results come from 20% of the work. But then again is it worthwhile to deliver something that is only 80% complete? Or is it better to deliver something that is a full 100% and ready for consumption? From what I remember learning and reading about start-ups, it was always recommended to ship early iterations of products because that way you haven’t wasted too much time making something that nobody wants. This applies in a highly uncertain, consumer-driven environment. However, the same rules do not apply in other areas. For example, you can’t ship a vaccine that is 80% complete and only took minimal effort to develop. This would be catastrophic, as this interferes with people’s health and wellbeing. 

So then the question arises, if I was to put more than 20% of my time and energy into something to achieve an extra few percent above 80%, will it be worth it? Is an additional 5% of results worth double the work? And more importantly, will having to aim for 90/100 prevent me from doing anything at all? 

I believe that if I was to set out to do something 100% there’s a high likelihood that I’ll talk myself out of doing it at all. So for that reason, I tend to engage in the 80/20 rule, it is only after I have completed the 80% that I can commit to bringing it up to 100%, buy only if I’m arsed and if I’m really engaged in the subject or activity. But otherwise, I just leave it as it is. I’m not sure if this is right or wrong, but it makes sense to me if some results or value is created in a general direction. It gets the ball rolling in my opinion. So go ahead and half arse something you’ve been putting off for too long! 

Extra: I’m keen to hear all opinions on this, so let me know what you think in the questionnaire I’ve attached, feel free to attach your name or remain anonymous. Link

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