Not perfect — just done

April 6, 2009

Here’s the perfect antidote to perfectionism — The Cult of Done Manifesto by Bre Pettis and Kio Stark:

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

They also include a neat diagram in their blog post — based on a Rubiks Cube — to illustrate each point.


  1. Sounds good, but conflicts with my parents’ creed of, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” If a task wasn’t executed perfectly, it was done over again until it was.

    I admit to confusion here. Is perfection too much for us now? Are we too busy to even bother?

  2. I’m also someone who leans towards the perfectionist side (those who know me would say that’s an understatement!), so I also had some issues with this list. However, I think there are circumstances where done is good enough. The ones that resonated with me the most in this list were #6 and #13.

  3. Had I mentioned number 13 when I was growing up, my mother would have glared at me, declared my statement utter BS, and called me her worst: “Lazy.”

    There was, in our house, no excuse for not doing things to perfection. Every time.

    Otherwise, I agree with you.

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