80% Done Beats Perfection

Perfectionism. The voice that keeps telling you that just one more edit, one more draft, or one more late-night session will make that blog post, ad campaign, or website “truly great” is the perpetual shadow of a digital marketer. Everybody has experienced fretting over minor issues, running into creative blockages, and worrying that the value of every piece of content we produce as marketers will be immediately reflected.

Here’s the dirty little secret that those well-dressed influencers seldom share: perfectionism is impeding your growth. In addition to causing burnout, the pressure to continuously surpass yourself and produce flawless work frequently stifles creativity and can seriously harm your mental health. It’s time to exchange the pointless and unachievable ideal of perfection for something more worthwhile: advancement, because starting, iterating, and making progress will always be more important than creating a work of art that has yet to be fully realized in the fast-paced world of digital marketing.

Barriers to Mental Health in Digital Marketing

Perfectionist inclinations mixed with the specific challenges of the always-on, fiercely competitive world of digital marketing can lead to a mental health minefield. Let’s examine some of the most typical manifestations of this:

Imposter Syndrome’s Amplifier 

It’s easy to slip into the self-doubt spiral known as imposter syndrome when your social media feed is overflowing with carefully chosen success stories and impeccably executed campaigns. This is exacerbated by perfectionism, which makes you feel your work must always meet an unreachable standard to validate your value.

Reactions & The Irrespective Person Trap

For a perfectionist, any indication of unfavorable feedback—in the form of remarks, low participation, or even failing to meet performance targets—can be devastating. Perfectionism interprets these as personal shortcomings rather than average data points, increasing worry about future content decisions.

The Price of the Comparison Game

Comparing oneself to others all the time is encouraged by digital marketing, particularly on social media. This is further distorted by perfectionism. You are comparing outcomes and internalizing the idea that others produce work at a breakneck pace and with perfect execution while preserving an outstanding work-life balance. This is untrue and harmful, fueling an unrelenting pursuit of impractical perfection.

The Delusion of Control

Although having a solid plan is essential, your success in digital marketing depends on uncontrollable circumstances (such as algorithm updates, audience reactions, and trends). The perfectionist’s obsessive need to micromanage every aspect in an idiotic attempt to ensure success grows as their frustration with their need to always be in charge grows.

The Application of the 80% Rule

The idea of releasing something when it’s “only” eighty percent good enough could make a perfectionist panic. But allow me to explain. The 80% rule is a purposeful and robust strategy to produce a genuine effect with minimal stress, not a license for carelessness. How it helps is as follows:

Redefining “Good Enough”

The pressure goes away if what you start with isn’t the impossible “best thing anyone has ever done,” but instead if it offers your audience real value. Did you provide precise information? Impart a new ability? Start a beneficial dialogue? Congratulations! According to the 80% rule, that is “good enough.”

Repetition vs. Perfection

We convince ourselves that a single piece of content needs to be flawless at launch. The 80% mindset emphasizes version 1.0. Distributing it globally is essential for obtaining information, receiving criticism, and initiating the improvement cycle. There might be things you never would have known when you’re sitting there, obsessing over a single word choice and being paralyzed by perfectionism.

Permission to Conduct Research

We tend to fall back on tried-and-true options when things get serious. But in that, where’s the growth and fun? 80% work release allows you to experiment with new ideas, test out different content formats, and step outside your comfort zone without worrying about your campaign winning “Campaign of the Year” the first time. Your less demanding standards encourage creative effort.

Benefits That Go Beyond Mental Health

Although our main objective is to combat those harmful mindsets, following the 80% rule also has measurable positive effects on business:

Enhanced Productivity

Doing more is the result of less second-guessing. You sustainably produce, enabling you to take on additional tasks and maintain regular visibility with your audience.

More Accurate Audience Data

Rapid release allows you to observe the reactions of actual users. More importantly, this produces better long-term content than chasing ‘perfect’ alone. It outperforms internal review sessions and directs improvement for the following round.

Developing Resilience

Only some pieces will go viral. It’s typical! By focusing on improvement, you can accept the process and the inevitable minor setbacks when you release with an 80% mentality. In the long term, this makes you a more effective marketer.

Helpful Advice for Accepting the 80%

Changing your working style requires intentional practice. By using these strategies, you may get past your initial concern and turn “good enough” into your new marketing superpower:

The Pomodoro Perfectionist Challenge

Divide work into focused 25-minute intervals interspersed with brief pauses. The deadline keeps people from lingering and demonstrates that progress can be measured in less-than-ideal circumstances. (For an added twist, set aside one “sloppy Pomodoro” period each day where you purposefully concentrate on producing brief rough drafts rather than polished pieces.)

“Done” List Priority

Instead of making a to-do list at the end of each workday, list all the tasks you accomplished, whether large or small. You worked hard on those incomplete jobs, so include them! This causes your brain to reward progress rather than meticulous adjustments.

Change the Way You Talk to Yourself

Perfectionists often say, “It’s garbage” or “I wasted my time.” Substitute this with declarative language that makes sense: “I can strengthen this angle by…” This helps you stay in the mindset of fixing problems rather than worrying.

Opinions From Reliable Sources

Get feedback on your material from a community of fellow marketers or a supportive coworker before releasing it into the wild. Ask precise questions that adopt the 80% mentality, such as “Is this clear? Do I add anything worthwhile? It emphasizes achieving its goal rather than whether it is seen as ‘award-worthy.’

Celebrate Those Imperfect Wins

Did you publish your blog post despite your lingering anxiety? Start an “okay” advertising campaign knowing that you will iterate later. Note these little triumphs because they will help your brain learn that conquering obstacles in the mind is more important than producing perfect work.

Important Note: These are not quick fixes but offer a place to start. Take it easy on yourself! Establishing new mental habits requires patience and regularity. Appreciate any progress, no matter how tiny, that brings you closer to a sustainable and happy career.

The Lesson: Advancement, Not Perfection

You may initially find it challenging to adopt the 80% mindset if you are naturally a perfectionist. That’s all very well! Outside of our comfort zones, real progress frequently happens. Recall that striving for perfection is impossible and typically keeps you from realizing your most significant potential. Digital marketing becomes more scalable, satisfying, and healthy when focusing on measurable results rather than constant tweaking.

Your Challenge to “Get Started”

This is about achieving results, not theory. For a week, commit to using the 80% technique on the following task: [Select ONE specific action your audience finds challenging to follow. Examples are given below.] Observe how this modifies your stress levels and work quality and creates creative opportunities that a perfectionist mindset could have prevented you from pursuing.

  • Example Task 1: Compose a blog post and publish it without going over three rounds of editing.
  • Example Task 2: Design social media graphics prioritizing effective communication over ostentatious visuals.
  • Example Task 3: Don’t wait indefinitely to launch your campaign; instead, run it for a week with the understanding that you’ll review the outcomes and make adjustments.
Brett Kennedy

With a BS in Digital Marketing, certifications in Digital Ads, Analytics, and Content, and a decade of hands-on experience, Brett is committed to leveling up your digital presence.

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