Do you find it impossible to finish a job or to leave out some details in a file, because you think it will taint your reputation? Do you outdo yourself, but also suffer from anxiety due to your insecurity? Here is some advice from Matt Plummer, founder of the Zarvana online coaching service.
Looking at the big picture
Considering the tasks to be accomplished, measure the true results and provide time accordingly. The four hours spend on refining your presentation may not have any impact on the customer’s decision! Know how to apply your “almost perfect” efforts where it counts by accepting that other achievements are a bit less.
Review your standards
It goes without saying that perfectionists have high standards. Share your documents or work or have them reread early in the process, from the first draft even. To your great surprise, your colleagues may tell you that everything is already very good.
Create a task list
Perfectionists can work on a file relentlessly due to being dissatisfied with the result. Put together a list that includes all the tasks to be accomplished in this file and check them off as you complete them.
Putting the brakes on the hamster in your head
Invasive thoughts and problem solving are the lot of perfectionists. And they not only affect productivity but their health as well. Identify what causes these rumination sessions and try to control these triggers. Give yourself more practical tasks that will be a diversion and break your negative sequence. Because, when start worrying about things, it is usually negative. That’s why you have to avoid relying on your first impressions when your hamster is at work — and it’s doing overtime most of the time!
Accept and discuss
Share your thought patterns with your friends, mentor or colleagues you trust. Do not hesitate to explain what is going on in your head and ask them to tell you when you become difficult, picky and too meticulous. It will not be easy the first few times, but it is an effective way to become aware when you heading once again down the road of perfectionism.
Take note of progress
Record your results in this quest for moderation, such as tasks that you have avoided for fear of making mistakes and those, conversely, that you have successfully achieved by setting aside some of your perfectionist fibre in favour of accomplishment.
By clearly identifying where your perfectionism has had positive impacts and where it is harmful, you will simplify your life at work and that of your colleagues. Consider the expression that the devil is in the details… and accept that recovery is not perfect!