Perfectionism Making You Into a Procrastinator? 3 Messages to Watch For

perfectionism red pencil

Perfectionism got you stuck?

Perfectionism slows you down and holds you up. When you give in to perfectionism, you have trouble knowing when tasks are finished and letting them go.

In fact, perfectionism and procrastination are two of the biggest time wasters there are. They are very debilitating and discouraging. They sap your confidence and devour your energy.

AND, they take away your time.

Perfectionism alone is extremely damaging. But when you’ give into this time thief, you’re also adding rocket fuel for procrastination.

So, how do you counter your perfectionism once you see it? Let’s start with a quote that I’ve always found helpful:

“Take time to be deliberate; but when the time
for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

Time is too precious to waste on perfectionism. How often do you feel the frustration of trying to get something ‘just right,’ only to feel your day slipping away from you? Is it difficult for you to see when the ‘time for action’ has arrived?

Well, instead of letting perfectionism grind things to a halt and take over your life, here are 3 messages I’d like you to explore. Seeing them as perfectionistic danger signals will help you reclaim your time and keep moving rather than getting bogged down and staying stuck.

Message #1:

“I’ll wait for the right time, then I’ll start.”

What exactly is the ‘right time’? Perhaps you believe the right time will arrive when:

  • Inspiration comes.
  • More free time is available.
  • Distractions disappear.
  • Something you’ve been waiting for happens – like follow-through from a friend who’s offered to help.

In any of these instances, you are giving yourself the message that something additional is needed before you can begin. This is dis-empowering.

Response: “The right time is now.”

‘Now’ is what you have to work with. Schedule the time on your calendar or to-do list and start in. It’s like jumping into in a cool lake on a hot day — shocking at first, perhaps, but once you take that plunge, you can enjoy the swim!

Message #2:

“It’s not perfect yet.”

If this is something you often say, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you consider perfect?
  • Is it attainable?
  • Whose eyes are you actually looking through — your own or someone else’s?
  • Are you anticipating criticism?
  • Are your expectations for this project realistic or inflated?

Response: “Done is better than perfect” or “It’s good enough.”

Remember that the pleasure of accomplishment increases your self-confidence and satisfaction in your work!

Message #3:

“I know I can make it better.”

You may have certain weak areas. Here is where endless time can be wasted tweaking something until you can’t even see it clearly anymore!

Response: “I’ll ask for feedback.”

This is powerful in 3 important ways.

  • Others can see mistakes and oversights with fresh eyes.
  • Delegating frees up your time so you can move on to your next task.
  • You are embracing others’ viewpoints. The more you welcome challenge, the less you fear their responses. This is one of the most powerful ways to fight perfectionism.

Perfectionism is a way you can bully yourself into procrastination paralysis. Instead, celebrate your power to be productive, and enjoy your success at finding time.

And if you’re a member of the Finding Time Community, keep your eye on your inbox. Soon I’ll be letting you in on a special offer that will help you clarify your priorities and give your productivity and life satisfaction a big boost.

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