How to overcome perfectionism when writing scientific papers

from Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, p 379:

Another method for overcoming perfectionism is the ”greed technique.” This is based on the simple fact that most of us try to be perfect so we can get ahead in life. It may not have occurred to you that you might end up much more successful if your standards were lower. For example, when I started my academic career, I spent over two years writing the first research paper I published. It was an excellent product, and I’m still quite proud of it. But I noticed that in the same time period, many of my peers who were of equal intelligence wrote and published numerous papers. So I asked myself—am I better off with one publication that contains ninety-eight “units of excellence” or ten papers that are each worth 80 “units of excellence”? In the latter case, I would actually end up with 800 “excellence units,” and I would be way ahead of the game. This realization was a strong personal persuader, and I decided to lower my standards a bit. My productivity then became dramatically enhanced, as well as my levels of satisfaction.

How can this work for you? Suppose you have a task and you notice you’re moving slowly. You may find that you’ve already reached the point of diminishing returns, and you’d do better by moving on to the next task. I’m not advocating that you slough off, but you may find that you as well as others will be equally if not more pleased with many good, solid performances than with one stress-producing masterpiece.