This is the seventeenth in a series of brief posts during October — global ADHD Awareness Month. Each features a quote that relates to ADHD and neurodiversity.

 

For people with ADD, perfectionism can become a way of avoiding finishing something. . . . All of us have to turn in imperfect work. I probably could have found a hundred ways to make this book better, but if I kept doing that long enough you’d never have read it. So I have to settle for good enough. And where unattainable perfection is concerned, “good enough” is your best friend.

– Wes Crenshaw, I Always Want to Be Where I’m Not: Successful Living with ADD & ADHD

 

Perfectionism is a way of thinking that plagues many people with ADHD. It is often behind procrastination or failure to finish projects. The idea of “good enough” can be hard to adopt if we are inclined toward perfectionism. We might be able to look back on a particular task and acknowledge that the amount of time we invested in that single task did not serve us well, but in the midst of a task it can seem very difficult to gain that perspective and curtail our perfectionism

One strategy some have used to transition beyond perfectionism is to redirect the focus of perfectionism beyond just the quality of the particular thing being produced and toward instead finding the perfect balance among quality, time, and resources. A basic fact of life is that you cannot successfully prioritize all three. Variations on the following model are often used in business as a reminder of this fact and of the implications of choosing the right balance.

This model comes from the website “Medium.” The idea, as you can see, is that a perfect solution — having something done quickly, at a low cost, and with the highest quality  —  is not possible. You can have two of the three sides of the triangle, but you can’t have all three:

 

If you make Time and Money priorities, the result is Lower Quality
If you make Quality and Time priorities, the result is Higher Cost
If you make Money and Quality the priorities, the result is Too Much Time
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