This week we are talking about procrastination and perfectionism. When I originally planned this podcast, I didn’t plan to put procrastination with perfectionism, but it really does go hand in hand!
One of our members shared how procrastination goes hand in hand for her, and I wanted to share it with you.
I am a perfectionist. If I can’t do a task because I don’t know how, it paralyzes me. I procrastinate; I don’t do anything at all. Then there is fear of, “What if it doesn’t work?”
Stop Trying to Be Perfect
Striving for perfection is one of those things we often think is a great strength, but it can be negative, especially when you are managing people who don’t have the same concern for perfection. After my male boss told me not to be perfect, I realized that often men don’t strive for perfection the way women do.
The other woman working for me and I eventually moved positions and two men took our place. They laugh, have fun, and don’t stress about making things perfect. And guess what? The ship doesn’t sink.
We are all imperfect, and trying to reach perfection can create a lot of stress. Also, perfection kills creativity, which is very important when managing a team.
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How to Move Away from Being a Perfectionist
So, how do you move away from trying to be perfect? Here is what works for me. I hope it will help you, too!
Set a Deadline for Your Task
When the time comes, move onto the next task, even if you haven’t finished the current task yet. Settle for as good as can be in the time available. This will prevent you from spending countless hours trying to make something perfect. If you need to, you can always return to the task at a later time with a fresh perspective.
Set Realistic Expectations & Goals
Make sure you don’t set arbitrary deadlines for yourself for no reason. Don’t promise you can complete five weeks of work in three. You will end up stressed for no reason. Instead, set goals that are realistic and try to give yourself a bit of a buffer if possible.
Ask for an Extension
I know, it’s hard because it shows that you aren’t perfect. But, usually, there is no negative side-effect to asking for an extension because it shows that you really care. Just don’t make a habit of constantly missing deadlines, which can ultimately ruin your trust and reputation. Make sure you know the difference between a hard deadline and a soft deadline.
Right now, we are working to upgrade the Classy Career Girl membership site. And I am totally facing procrastination and perfectionism!
My membership site upgrade won’t be perfect. As a leader, I can no longer control everything. As a delegator, of course, I feel like I could do things better. But I won’t complete my mission.
“It doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to get it started.” -Stu McLaren
For my 90-day plan, I didn’t reach those goals, but I got a whole lot closer! The 90-day plan is not perfect. But at least I got started.
One customer isn’t happy. That will drive me crazy when I am serving thousands.
I started with a terrible logo.
Even as I get ready to launch, I am opening my coaching group in a couple of weeks. I want the perfect sales page, perfect emails, perfect webinars. It’s just not the reality.
Or the membership site upgrade, I want a perfect new site, workbooks. No spelling errors. Not everyone will be happy with the upgrade. It’s terrifying. Doing big things is scary!
How to Prevent Procrastination
This is a perfect tie into perfectionism because we think something has to be perfect, we procrastinate. I have a book in my head and I think it has to be perfect and the proposal has to be perfect so I’ve been thinking and procrastinating getting it done.
The planner that I created? I sat on that idea for two years because I didn’t know how to create a planner. Then, one email I sent out and two months later I had a physical planner in my hands. Here is how I battle procrastination:
1. Start with the most difficult tasks first.
2. Hold yourself accountable.
3. Reward yourself along the way.
Use a project management program like Asana to break down big tasks! Smaller tasks will take less time to complete and this creates a clear picture of the progress that has been made, providing that much-needed sense of accomplishment and achievability
I would love, love to hear your comments or questions on this topic or really any other topic. If you would like to be featured on the podcast, send me a voice memo, email it to me firstname.lastname@example.org.