I am a perfectionist in recovery (can you relate?). It is a habit that I'm working on, but admittedly, I still struggle with it from time to time. Fortunately, I found this article with great tips on kicking the perfectionist habit. If you need help, too, read on:
1. Address the real issue. At its source, perfectionism really isn't about a deep love of being meticulous. Actually it's about fear: The fear of disappointing other people, of making a mistake, of failure and/or success. So, the next time you're going around in endless circles on a project, ask yourself what you're afraid of (regardless if you feel consciously fearful or not); go deep for an answer. You'll be surprised at what you find out.
Once you've figured it out, deal with it head-on. Whether you're uneasy about working with a new client or afraid that you'll miss a deadline, go through the worst-case scenarios in your mind. Keep coming up with worse and worse situations until you can't anymore. A lot of times, when you deal with fear face-to-face, it loses its power...and then you're free to work more productively.
2. Make time limits. At times, it's difficult to know when you've gone from being meticulous to obsessive. When you're in the thick of a project, it's easy to really believe you have to spend all that time brainstorming, researching, revising, etc. Many times, it's only after you've been working for hours and hours that you see that half the work you've been doing wasn't really needed and that you wasted a lot of time.
Prevent time-wasting by setting an objectively sensible time limit to finish each task. If you run out of time, no matter where you are in the task, stop and move to a different one. This has two advantages: 1) It's like an alarm to let you know your perfectionist habits might be taking over; and 2) It forces you to take a breather and gives your mind the opportunity to relax. When you get back to the task, you'll look at it in a fresh way and be prepared against letting your perfectionism get the best of you.
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What are some ways you've overcome perfectionism? Please share by leaving a comment!
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