It’s all to easy when you run a business to want everything to be perfect. Of course, you want your business to be a success, you want to be proud of what you do, but there’s a real danger in striving for perfection that you will never actually achieve these things. Whilst perfectionism may seem like a good thing it can actually be one of the biggest killers of productivity.
The problem with perfectionism is of course, that it’s unattainable. If you strive for perfection you may find that either don’t get started because you haven’t got the perfect conditions in place to start, you haven’t already achieved XYZ, you haven’t got the perfect idea, or you just don’t finish because you continue tweaking and refining trying to achieve something flawless.
Either way, this quest for perfectionism is highly detrimental to your productivity. As a business owner the single most important thing is to get your products and services out there to get them working for you.
In many ways there are a lot of similarities with perfectionism and procrastination. The good news is that both can be beaten with the right understanding and action taking.
Here are 5 things you can do to overcome your perfectionism to get productive:
1. Recognise that being good enough is good enough.
Instead of trying to achieve perfection instead aim for “good enough.” Salvador Dali famously said, “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.” Simply try to achieve a good enough standard in everything that you do to get your projects completed. You increase your chances of completing projects and also feel less stressed.
2. Set yourself deadlines.
Deadlines are important for anyone but for perfectionists particularly so. When you embark on any project, plan it out and think of a reasonable time frame to complete the project in. Stick to that deadline. As you move closer to it be mindful of the fact that you must hit that deadline. Do what you need to do to finish and then stop. Don’t keep adding touches to make it better, you can go on forever with this.
3. Remember perfectionism is subjective anyway.
Something you consider to be perfect may not be perfect in someone else’s eyes and vice versa. Finish your project, review it, edit it if necessary and then get it out in to the world. You can always make improvements later when you get feedback from other people. The important thing is to get your product, your service, your blog, whatever it may be, out in to the world so that you can start reaping the benefits.
4. Reframe your self criticism
Instead of being your own biggest critic focus on finding positives rather than negatives. Looking for negatives will only hold you back from achieving more. Look at what you have done well and be proud of that achievement.
5. Develop a learning mindset rather than a performance orientated one.
Constantly look for opportunities to learn. At the end of each project review and take stock. Instead of criticising yourself for not doing something well enough make a note of your key learnings and be sure to implement them next time. Always learning means you will be continuously improving and becoming closer to that elusive state of perfectionism anyway. Just don’t expect to ever reach it. The best way to learn is really to start doing things. There’s no time like the present to put it in to action.
If you look closely at anything nothing is actually perfect so don’t put that pressure on yourself to achieve something that’s really not attainable. Concentrating on getting things done instead will enable you to reap rewards faster and feel happier.
Feel free to download the FREE printable of the mantra Done Is Better Than Perfect. Use it to keep yourself motivated and remind yourself to get things finished. Just don’t expect it to be perfect 😉