Finding Time Strategies - 3 Tips to Conquer Perfectionism

by Paula Eder - Date: 2008-09-15 - Word Count: 486 Share This!

"Done is better than perfect."

Perfectionism, like a mirage, lures you into a desert of false hopes. Your ideal hovers just out of reach while your day slips away. Regain your productivity! Learn to identify the 3 stages of poisonous perfectionism. You can call on these tips to exercise the freedom you deserve over your time.

With mild perfectionism, you may waste time fine-tuning things that only you will notice. Then you scramble to finish the rest of the day's work. For an antidote, develop a mantra that brings fresh perspective to a stuck situation. For example, "That'll do for now," or, ""It's good enough."

If you suffer from moderate perfectionism, perhaps you were told as a child, "Anything worth doing is worth doing right." You may spend twice as much time as others on the final stages of a project, and rarely convince yourself it's really complete. Do you make several false starts and never feel satisfied with your finished product? Or work so intently on some projects that you never get around to other ones?

If so, it's your responsibility to yourself to stop an endless cycle of revisions. In addition to creating a positive mantra, establish a reasonable time frame to complete a project. Set an alarm, if you need to. When the time is up, change activities, no matter what. You will find this easier to do, as you practice.

Also, consider broadening your perspective by asking a supportive friend or co-worker to review your work. The more actively you replace your all-or-nothing messages with your chosen mantra, the more you'll welcome feedback that dilutes the harshness of perfectionism.

Severe perfectionism requires the most sustained effort to overcome. If you often lose sleep at night rehearsing what you will do the following day, perfectionism threatens to undermine your health. And if you are so afraid of not being good enough that you become immobilized, your daily performance suffers, as well.

You must squarely face that your excessive standards are padlocking your productivity and taking over your life. Fortunately, the more comprehensively you explore your assumptions and values, the more you can reclaim your power and your time.

Instead of putting your project under the microscope, examine your expectations of success. Do you cling to a distorted perception about "perfection" and what it can give you? When you replace them with a clear overview, you can whittle down those looming fears of failure.

If perfection remains a deeply ingrained value, substitute ideals of a perfect performance with a vision of perfect balance in your life. The essence of balance is learning when to let go. By participating in a balanced life rather than performing for impossible rewards, you will cultivate new strengths, and take genuine satisfaction in regaining control of your time.

"Getting the thing done, whatever it is, in time to actually use and enjoy it is what matters the most." Ken McCarthy

What other ways can you benefit from time management skills?

Related Tags: balance, time management, productivity, perfectionism, paula eder, the time finder

Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder, has 35+ years experience guiding individuals and organizations to effectively align values with time choices. For free weekly time tips & award-winning monthly Ezines, visit

And for even more time thoughts and techniques, visit our blog at

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