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How to Manage Your Perfectionism

https://hbr.org/2019/04/how-to-manage-your-perfectionism

hbr.org

How to Manage Your Perfectionism
Perfectionism is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can motivate you to perform at a high level and deliver top-quality work. On the other hand, it can cause you unnecessary anxiety and slow you down. How can you harness the positives of your perfectionism while mitigating the negatives?

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Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Try to identify things you avoided due to fear of failure and situations where your perfectionism wasn’t worth it or moments where you did well despite being uncertain.

Your objective here is to learn where perfectionism has a positive impact and where it does not.

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Get an outside perspective on your perfectionist tendencies

Talk honestly and openly to someone about your tendencies and how you’re working on getting better.

Ask them to tell you when you are being too fussy about something so you can think about it.

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Interrupting the cycle of rumination

  • Take note of when you’re ruminating and what triggers it until you can see your patterns and find ways to counteract them.
  • Don't trust your first reaction when ruminating. Most of the time, it colors negatively your read of the situation.
  • Seek a diversion to break the rumination cycle.
  • Think positively: remembering your successes and times you tried new things helps you to not be avoidant of tasks you can’t do perfectly.

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Checklist remind you of your progress

Perfectionists tend to keep tweaking their work endlessly. To counter that, you can create a checklist for each task.

With a checklist that reminds you to confirm what you’ve done, you needn’t endlessly slog. You’re following a process with discrete and measurable goals.

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Calibrating your standards

To manage your perfectionism you can “calibrate your standards” by showing your efforts to someone early in the process. You may discover it’s already “good enough.

Even if you need to continue to work on it, the feedback will help you improve. Also, keep in mind that your work often needn’t be the final word, it just has to contribute something useful.

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Keeping the big picture in mind

Realizing when you are working for diminishing returns lets you be less perfect about some things, so you can concentrate on what’s important.

Achieving perfectionist ideals takes extra time and effort that doesn’t always translate into a bigger impact of your results.

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Perfectionism in rooted in fear

Many perfectionistic tendencies are rooted in fear and are maintained even when they become counterproductive. Perfectionists worry that if they are less meticulous and conscientious, it will hurt their performance and standing.

Perfectionism can motivate you to perform at a high level and deliver top-quality work, but it can also increase anxiety and slow you down.

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Build connections

Work on cultivating personal connections with your colleagues, and allow them to get to know you. 

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Listen before you try to persuade

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