Can 85% perfection be enough
in our industry?
Interior Design is a field that requires excellent attention to detail, creativity, and technical skills as well as the ability to collaborate with many different teams and contractors. All this whilst sticking to budget, meeting deadlines and keeping the client happy! Safe to say, it can get pretty pressurised at times and the demand for perfection can lead to overwhelm at best and burnout at worst.
But what if we stopped focusing on perfection and instead found a way to get everything done, on time, but with less stress and more headspace? This is where the 85% rule comes in. The rule counterintuitively suggests that to achieve maximum output, you need to refrain from giving maximum effort.
The idea is that instead of trying to be perfect and completing every task to the utmost degree, you should aim to complete each task to a good enough standard and move on. This means doing each task to 85% of your ideal level of perfection and using the remaining 15% of your time to tackle other tasks. By adopting this mindset, you can supposedly maximize your productivity and get more done in less time.
In theory this makes sense and can certainly be applied to many areas of work life, especially those involving more admin focused tasks. However, the reality of working in an industry like luxury interior design is that the detail and execution of many aspects of the job need to be finished to 100% perfection - 85% won’t cut it - so the rule needs to be applied sensibly, but it’s definitely worth consideration based on the benefits it can bring.
Firstly, it can help you avoid getting bogged down in the details of each task. Trying to do things perfectly can be exhausting and time-consuming, leaving you feeling frazzled and stressed. By accepting that 85% is good enough, you can focus on completing each task quickly and efficiently, freeing up time to work on other tasks that need your attention. Additionally, the 85% Rule encourages creativity and innovation. Once you've completed a task to a good enough standard, you can move on to other projects, giving your brain space to come up with new ideas and solutions.
Another way the 85% Rule can help you succeed at work is by improving your work-life balance. Many people struggle to switch off from work and find themselves constantly checking emails and working long hours. By adopting the 85% Rule, you can give yourself permission to take a step back and focus on other areas of your life. When you feel less stressed and more in control of your workload, you're more likely to have the energy and motivation to pursue other hobbies and interests outside of work.
The 85% Rule is also particularly useful when working as part of a team. When everyone on the team understands and follows the rule, it can help create a more positive and productive team dynamic. By focusing on completing each task to a good enough standard, team members can avoid getting bogged down in micro-managing each other's work or trying to outdo one another. This leads to a more collaborative and supportive work environment, where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute to the team's success.
Overall, the 85% Rule is a great strategy for boosting productivity, improving work-life balance, and creating a more positive team dynamic. By aiming for a good enough standard on tasks that don’t require acute perfection in Interior Design, you can free up time to work on other tasks, encourage creativity and innovation, and feel less stressed and overwhelmed at work.