“Done is better than perfect.” This is good advice for divorce lawyers, but equally good advice for divorce clients (really, it is) sometimes.
Excerpts from Perfect, by David M. Ward
To some extent, perfectionism is a valuable attribute in an attorney. Exacting standards and an almost obsessive attention to detail help you to do a good job for your clients, keeping them and yourself out of trouble.
I say “to some extent,” however, because research shows that perfectionism can lead to burnout, anxiety, and even depression.
You can argue that there’s too much at stake and, therefore, no room for error. You can’t take any risks with your work. But, as I’ve said before, life (and the practice of law) isn’t about the complete elimination of risk, it’s about the intelligent management of risk.
There are things you can do to maintain your wellbeing while staying faithful to your high standards. Like checklists, that tell you when you’ve done the work that needs to be done, and self-imposed deadlines that force you to “turn in your homework” even though you might want more time.
Mistakes happen. But most of the time, most of what you do is “good enough” and good enough is usually good enough. Err on the side of “overly cautious” or “painstakingly thorough,” but do what you have to do to let things go.
Repeat after me: “Done is better than perfect”.
Similarly, you can’t refuse to delegate work because “nobody can do better” or because someone might make a costly mistake. If you insist on doing everything yourself, you will never grow.
You will work more than you have to and achieve less than you could. And you’ll also go home exhausted.