Today, I realized an interesting thing. I might have a problem. I've been working on the new website these last 3 days (from the last project update), even though it's almost ready! But I wanted to have every single detail right. Which, as it turns out, is extremely time consuming and quite unnecessary.

Here's the deal

But it's so hard to tell where is the line. Which detail is still relevant and which isn't. Some people don't care very much about details. Some care selectively. And some care too much. And I've known for a while that I am in the last category. I want the thing I am working on to be perfect. Even though I sometimes question whether it's a good use of my time, I just can't help it. I can't just let it be when I feel that it's not up to my standard. When I get in the 'obsessive' state, I keep looking for ways how to make it even more 'perfect'. I literally make up more work.

Today was a shining example of this. There are literally endless ways of how you could tweak and fine-tune your website. You can obsess about:

  • meta descriptions
  • Facebook OpenGraph tags
  • the best 404 page you can possibly come up with
  • making everything pixel perfect, on all responsive version of the site
  • all things SEO (this is a big one)

I was just going through these things one after another and trying to make each one of them great. And guess what? There has to be this 'line'. I've spent way too much time with this website already, so it's hardly justifiable to obsess over it this much. But like I said, for me, compromising on these details is not an option. At least not to a certain (high) level.

It's also an advantage

In some cases, this is good. The resulting quality ends up being fairly high. And users can tell. Here are some of the reviews of Routie:
Routie reviews The new website is shaping up to be great as well. It'll be something I will be proud of, and after all these years I will actually be satisfied with the way I present my indie company on the web. So that's actually very gratifying.

The other side of the story

There are several huge downsides to this, obviously. Making things perfect takes huge amount of time. Time that could be spent socializing, or working on something with better return-on-investment. Or any of the countless other activities that one can do in life. If I didn't have this 'problem', my life would indeed be quite different. It's hard to say whether better or worse, but very different for sure.

Is there a solution?

I believe that the first step toward solving a problem is to acknowledge that it is there. After that, one has to become determined that he wants to do something about it. The third step is to start actively looking into ways how to deal with the problem. And the fourth step is to start implementing those ways from step three. I am sure there is a detailed study about this somewhere, this process is just something I think could work, in theory.

The problem is, I am not sure I can do this. It's rooted deep inside me and it might be next to impossible for me to do something about it, even if I really wanted.

The conclusion

This thing is certainly worrisome, I am not going to lie. But at the same time, it might not be as bad as it sounds. If I manage to get it under control at least a little bit, I think it could eventually even work to my advantage.

Also, it's a big philosophical question to which extents are people even able to change themselves. To choose themselves, even. I mean, physically. What if it's like in this Matrix movie, and choice really is just an illusion? What if everything we ever do is just the result of all the events and circumstances that led to that very moment? But let's leave this philosophical debate for another post.

The second big question is to which extent should one fight against who he is. Shouldn't I just accept it as part of me? Maybe. Not entirely, but from a large portion, I believe that's what I should do. Accept 80% of it, and do the best I can to change those remaining 20%.

What do you think? By the way, this format is quite different from the previous posts, huh? Like I said, I want to experiment here. If you like the previous (more journaling one) format more, please tell me in the comments. And don't forget to head back here next Sunday!