Did you ever think that being a perfectionist is actually flawed and can create as many problems as you think it solves? That perfectionism can make you not be or achieve your best? In striving for perfection you can be less efficient and be less effective. You waste time prevaricating, waiting for the perfect moment. You fuss over details and you might miss the bigger picture leading to imperfect results. So how do you balance it? How do you strive for perfection in a healthy, balanced way?
1. Draw a Line between Your Output and Your Effort
You need to work on recognizing whether a task you are obsessing is going to be worth the time and effort when it is completed. Try to visualize the end product and make a decision as to whether you are going to feel satisfied when you are done or simply relieved that it is over. If it is the latter, then you need to force yourself to take a lighter approach and not dedicate all of your time and energy on it.
2. Think about the Life Alternatives You Could Be Enjoying
If you find yourself stuck in a spiral of trying to perfect something that isn’t going to be that satisfying in the end, then it helps to pause for a moment and visualize what other things you could be doing at the same time. You could be spending time with friends or family, or doing something more enjoyable. Whatever it is, force your brain to allow you to stop and move on.
3. Try to See the Bigger Picture
Is the thing you are trying so hard to finish to a perfect level going to positively affect you in the long run? It pays off to be a perfectionist sometimes, but only when you are putting your energy in to something that is going to be really beneficial. If the project doesn’t factor in to the bigger picture, then you need to have enough will power to step away from it and recharge your batteries.
4. Focus on Bigger Projects, Avoid Getting Caught up in the Small Stuff
The mind of a perfectionist can be a really huge asset, but that is only when it is focused on things that are truly worthwhile. You should seek out projects that are large in scale and that are going to enhance your life in some way when finished rather than getting caught up and expending brainpower on small things that are of no consequence.
5. Set a Time Limit for Yourself
If you like to throw yourself into a project but then find you cannot tear yourself from it, then it helps to be strict and set a time limit for the activity. It might be an hour each day, it might be three hours, but the main thing is that you respect the time limit and stop yourself when the clock has run down.
6. Learn to Be Okay with Making Mistakes
It’s the not the making of a mistake that defines you: it is how you react and how you go about fixing it. Making mistakes it a natural part of any project task, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead become even more positive by coming up with ideas for how to fix whatever it is that needs fixing.
7. Take Breaks to Let Your Brain Have a Rest
It’s important to frequent breaks whilst you are in the middle of a perfectionist project binge. Your mind is only going to get more and more tired as time goes on, so you need to let it rest for periods so that you can continue to tackle your project in a meaningful way throughout the day.
Don’t stop being a perfectionist. Perfectionism helps you aim for higher standards, do better and become better. Let’s just do it in a healthy, balanced way. Agreed?