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MATT PLUMMER

"The pursuit of perfection is a bit like wandering on an aimless journey, You keep walking and walking, but you’re not sure that you’re getting any closer to your destination”

MATT PLUMMER

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How to manage your perfectionism

How to manage your perfectionism

Perfectionism is a double-edged sword. It can motivate you to perform at a high level and deliver top-quality work as it can cause you unnecessary anxiety and slow you down. So how you can harness the positives of your perfectionism while mitigating the negatives? What practices can you adopt to keep your perfectionism in check?

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4) Break the cycle of rumination

4) Break the cycle of rumination

Many perfectionists have a proclivity to ruminate — repetitively mulling over a thought or problem without ever coming to a resolution. “It’s related to anxiety,”

People who ruminate tend to be “less forgiving of themselves.” It’s unhealthy, and it’s unproductive.

Identify your triggers“learn to recognize when you’re ruminating,”

Don't Trust your first reaction, Try hard to get perspective and give yourself time and distance before taking action.

Think positive, Think about the successes you’ve had in the past, reminding you of meaningful outcomes you've accomplished without being 100% certain.

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1) See the big picture

1) See the big picture

“Ask yourself: Am I using my time wisely? Am I being productive?” focusing on “maximizing the impact” of your work.

You’re going to be “less perfect about some things, so you can concentrate on what’s important.”

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Do

  1. Learn to recognize the point of diminishing returns when you’re aiming to complete a task perfectly. Sometimes just getting it done is a worthy goal.
  2. Reflect on your progress. Identify examples of when you successfully moderated your perfectionist tendencies.
  3. Calibrate your standards. Oftentimes what you’re writing or saying doesn’t have to be the final word, it just has to contribute something useful.

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3) Create a checklist

3) Create a checklist

Create a checklist for each task to know when it will be done independently of your satisfaction level.

“You’re following a process with discrete and measurable goals,”. Once you’ve ticked off the items on your list, “you’re done.”

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MATT PLUMMER

A lot of perfectionist tendencies are rooted in fear and insecurity

MATT PLUMMER

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6) Monitor your process

Undertake a weekly review, in which you reflect on your progress.

Try to get some psychological distance and ask yourself: “Was there anything I avoided this week due to fear of making mistakes? Were there any instances where my perfectionism was not worth it? Were there any times this week when I took action, even when I felt uncertain, and ended up moving things forward?

The goal is to learn where perfectionism has a positive impact and where does not.

"you’re not fundamentally “changing course”; rather, you’re, “redirecting your personality.”

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2) Adjust your standards

Managing your perfectionism also requires you to calibrate your standards.

Ask always for feedback from others on your work to see if it is good enough from their perspective and adjust your own standards.

“What you’re saying doesn’t have to be the final word, it just has to contribute something useful.”

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Don't

  1. Mistake ruminating for problem-solving. When your mind is twisting and turning, seek out distractions to break the cycle.
  2. Toil in pursuit of an amorphous goal of perfection. Create a checklist that ensures you follow a process with measurable targets.
  3. Go it alone. Ask others — a trusted colleague, friend, or mentor — for perspective and support.

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5) Get perspective

Talk to someone about your tendencies, and be honest and open. 

Make it clear that you want to hear how you come across.  “Say, ‘I may get defensive, but I promise to think about what you say.’” And be sure to make good on that pledge.

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Psychological Causes

Psychological Causes

Many perfectionists worry that if they let go of their [meticulousness and conscientiousness], it will hurt their performance and standing. And so they cling to their perfectionism even when it’s counterproductive.

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CURATED BY

I've always been struggling with being less productive and less accomplished until I've discovered that I actually suffer from perfectionism. This article had helped me at that time to start thinking differently and getting things done appropriately !

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