An artisan who made wonderful brass doors was being interviewed by an architectural publication. The interviewer asked the following question: “When do you know you are done?” The artisan’s response was as follows: “I’m never done. They just take them away from me.”
How do you know when an assignment is done? For many students that’s not a challenge. Assignments are done at the last minute. Very little consideration is given to whether the assignment is your best work and ready to be graded.
But there are students who worry that the assignment isn’t good enough. They revise and revise. The uncertainly begins to create an emotional drain. If you are this type of student, what can you do to reach the decision that you have done enough.
- Think of the opportunity costs of continuing to work on an assignment. What are you not doing because of your continual review of an assignment. You may be hurting other classes. But more likely you are robbing yourself of important personal things such as sleep, exercise, eating, or connecting with others.
- Develop your sense of how much is enough. Ultimately you will need to judge your own work when you are no longer in class. So learning to judge how much is sufficient is a critical skill to learn.
- If you obsessive about other things (e.g. cleaning), you may have an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). If this is the case, you probably have already seen professional help for OCD. If this is the case, you may want to see if your college offers any accommodations for your condition.
Learning how to decide when an assignment is good enough will take time. It will require discipline. But college is the time to deal with this issue.