Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash

My husband and I bought a house in the mountains earlier this month. Since this is a second home, we can’t just move all of our existing furniture and other household items into it. Instead, we have to (get to?) buy all new (to us) things to furnish it and get it feeling like a home.

We’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do. After spending hours combing through antique barns and warehouses over the weekend, I started thinking about ways people handle this sort of task differently. There are those who will purchase something that’s “good enough for now;” and there are those who will wait for the right thing.

Let’s use a coffee table as an example. It might not be a necessity for a living room (this is debatable), but I think we can all agree that it sure is nice to have. Say you have something in mind for what kind of coffee table you want. Are you more likely to buy something cheap but not quite right to hold you over while you search for the right one? My fear with that solution is that I’ll abandon the search because the pain of not having a coffee table will be gone. Or are you more likely to go coffee table-less until you find the right one? It’s awfully inconvenient to live without a coffee table, but if I choose that route, I’m motivated to keep looking.

I’m usually a waiter (er, willing to wait), but there are two things that make me a good enough-er: the urgency with which I need the item and whether I have a goal connected to acquiring the item.

You’ve probably guessed that I’m not just talking about furniture here.

Sometimes, when you have a pain, it’s worth fixing it right away, even if the solution is not perfect. Good enough is still “good,” after all. Or, if getting something done by a certain time gives you a sense of accomplishment or puts you in the running for a bonus (or something else that is motivating and momentum-building), then by all means, find a “good enough” solution!

But there’s also the argument for getting something done right. The trick with “good enough” is that you have to go back and redo it.

What about you? In what circumstances are you a “waiter” or a “good-enough-er?” And have you ever regretted a time when you were one instead of the other?

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