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3 simple ways to stop being a perfectionist and become more productive

Struggling with a perfectionist mentality

Struggling with a perfectionist mentality

Perfectionism is a tool you’re using to keep you from reaching your full potential.

There is no perfect. People who struggle with perfectionism should learn to be aggressively imperfect. It's okay to feel vulnerable. We're all human, after all.

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Perfectionism and to-do lists

To-do lists can help perfectionists move past our paralysis. They may find making a list to be a reassuring guide to their day.

But there's also a risk: to-do lists can backfire i...

Break down projects

 ... into manageable tasks. 

This way, you're armed with a set of concrete actions to take rather a vague cloud of high expectations.

Define the next action

... rather than all subsequent steps.

Focusing only on the next action gives you permission to work on something even if you don’t have it all figured out—which is crucial to completing tasks that in the past have left you paralyzed.

What you must know about procrastination
What you must know about procrastination
  • You can put things off without being lazy.
  • It's your emotions that decide to procrastinate, not logic. Emotions prioritize short-term gratification.
  • The problem is no...
The more you work, the less it feels like a grind

Procrastinators severely overestimate how hard it is to finish a task.

While it can be very tough to start, you'll gain momentum and achieve ten times more work with the same willpower. The result will also be much more rewarding.

The optimistic procrastinator

You overestimate your skills and underestimate the challenge. Your goals may be too small, or you didn't break the big goals into daily tasks.

What you find yourself doing: You don't write a deadline on your calendar, but promise to start tomorrow. You may even tell everyone how easy it is or what you plan to do.

Solution: Commit to a deadline, or make it a challenge to get done as much as possible.

The Wild Procrastinator

You are indecisive and often deals with things in the nick of time. But procrastination has a physical and social toll as your body and your coworkers get stressed over it.

Solution...

The Perfectionist

You are obsessed with your idea of perfection and end up spending way too much time on a specific task. This leads to feelings of being overwhelmed, missed deadlines and delaying other priorities.

Solution: Make sure you have achievable standards that don’t get in the way. Train yourself to do things that fall short of your idea of perfection until you begin to accept that the “imperfect” but functional is enough for most things.

The Underestimator

You often miscalculate how long it will take to do something to the point of missing deadlines and having to reschedule.

Solution: Schedule more time than you expect to take to finish a task, learn how to work faster and to estimate time more accurately. Reviewing past assignments duration will give you good time estimates for future reference.