I’m taking some college classes in architecture and I’m learning a lot about myself as well as architecture. The least useful of the two classes has me questioning if it is a good use of my time, and yet I can’t bring myself to not give my best shot. Even though it is taking a lot of time and it is something I’ll likely never use. It sounds crazy right. Why can’t I do the bare minimum and call it good enough?
Do I Need to do Everything Well?
I reflected on this last night and realize this is much bigger than my architecture class. This comes often with clients who insist on doing everything well. I call it perfectionism, and when they expect the same of others, I call it micro-managing. I discussed this with a friend last week and concluded this is just how I am wired. If I am going to do something, I will do it well. At the time I felt a sense of pride, this is how I want to be seen, but now I see the problem. Do I need to do everything well?
I don’t have time to do everything well nor does everything need to be done well. To say this is how I am says I don’t have a choice in the matter. Of course I do, the challenge is my willingness to accept being good enough. For me there is a fear of not living up to how I want to be seen. So what am I going to do about this?
How to be good enough
The first question I need to wrestle with is what is good enough in this class? This leads me to the bigger question of why am I doing it? My why should lead me to answer what is good enough. I am doing the class to increase my understanding of architecture and to update my own drawings. In this particular class it means understanding the fundamentals. It doesn’t mean learn to draw well with a pencil. I’d like to be able to sketch, but when it comes to accurate detailed drawings, I will use a computer. So good enough will mean understanding the concepts and doing only one attempt at the required drawings. Last week I did three attempts which wasn’t a good use of my time, and it drove me nuts.
You may wonder what this blog past has to do with you. Are you able to differentiate between what needs your best work and what only needs be good enough? I thought I did this well but my pride gets in my way.