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Procrastination and Perfection

If you seem to be locked into being a perfectionist, you’re probably wasting a lot of your time and energy. The more energy you put into making something perfect, the less real productivity you’ll enjoy.

Everyone has some measure of perfectionism within them. You set high goals for yourself, and then you push yourself to achieve them. You have high personal standards and integrity, and that makes us want to always do our best.

This particular dedication for perfection helps us get the results we want, and enjoy the success that comes with achieving our goals. But perfectionism in an extreme sense has negative repercussions, rather than positive results.

Some examples of extreme perfectionism would be:

  1. Less Efficiency - Sometimes good enough really is good enough. When you’ve completed a given task, but then continue working on it to improve this or that, you lose ten minutes...then 30 minutes, etc. You overthink things to a point where very little gets accomplished.

  2. Less Effectiveness - Again, with overthinking, you add small details without stopping to think about whether you need them or not. The project you’re working on may not receive any additional value from your extra work, and in fact, may ruin the project altogether. We’ve all experienced a too-cluttered website or a presentation with too much random information packed into a slide. A good rule of thumb is: simple is better.

  3. The “Perfect” Moment - Here’s a tip: there is no perfect moment. It’s not going to come, so the best you can do is get to work on your tasks right now. You can’t wait until you feel like it, or until all the planets align... just do it! This is a big way that procrastination and perfectionism work against you in tandem.

  4. Missing the Forest for the Trees - You can often only see the details, and miss the impact of the larger picture and eventual completion of the goal. You work on smaller details at the expense of the whole project. And when nothing gets done, even though you’ve been “busy”, you wonder what went wrong. Try looking at the overall bigger picture, and achieve a balance between the big picture and the details.

  5. Creating Nonexistent Problems - Worrying about things that really aren’t problems at all is a great way to waste your valuable mental energy. And, it can create an unhealthy diversion from away from the real tasks at hand. It’s a typical procrastination problem and an unhealthy one!

Surprisingly, I’m not saying that you should stop being a perfectionist, but should be aware of when your perfectionist tendencies go overboard. Always keep a balance between perfection and #productivity, and procrastination will become a thing of the past!

Blessings & Love,


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