Finding time to accomplish your goals can become challenging when your own expectations of yourself are so high that they are impossible to attain. Perfectionism, like a tantalizing mirage in a desert, lures you toward the unattainable ideal. It hovers enticingly, just out of reach, while your very real day slips away like sand through a sieve.
Does that sound familiar? Are your moments being robbed of their uniqueness, energy, productivity, and satisfaction by your perfectionism?
"The perfectionist is doomed to starvation in the midst of plenty." - Ken McCarthy
The good news is that you can regain your productivity, creativity and joy! The key is to learn to identify the tell-tale signs of poisonous perfectionism, and then use the 3 tips below as an antidote to the poison – and a way to reclaim your time.
Which Symptoms Match Your Personal Brand of Perfectionism Most Closely?
1. “I waste time fine-tuning things that only I will notice. Then I scramble to finish the rest of the day's work. "
Timely Tip: Develop a mantra that brings fresh perspective and a little psychic WD40 to a stuck situation. Try telling yourself something clean and simple like:
• "That'll do for now."
• "This is okay."
2. "Anything worth doing is worth doing right." Does that mean that you spend twice as much time as others on the final stages of a project, and rarely feel that it's complete? Do you make false starts but never feel satisfied with your finished product? Or do you work so intently on some projects that the rest of your work suffers?
Timely Tip: Your challenge is to let yourself open up what has become a closed system of endless revisions. Using the positive mantras in Tip #1 helps, and you also need to take the concrete step of establishing a timeframe for completing your project.
• Using an alarm or a timer keeps you moving. When the time is up, change activities, no matter what. This becomes easier with practice.
• Ask a trusted friend or co-worker to review your work and be prepared to accept their perspective. If they say your work is finished, let it be finished for you. Use their feedback to help you dilute the harshness of perfectionism.
3. "I often lose sleep at night rehearsing the events of the coming day." Do you find the fear of not measuring up or being good enough can immobilize you?
Timely Tip: It’s important that you stop yourself when this kind of thinking gets started. Let yourself know, kindly but firmly, that these standards are excessive and unrealistic. Not only that, but they stifle your creativity and padlock your productivity.
• Speak to yourself in a friendly, adult, reality-based voice. Instead of putting your project under the microscope, examine your expectations.
• Ask yourself what you think success (or perfection) can bring. If you have unrealistic hopes, then replacing them with a more grounded perspective often deflates ballooning fears of failure.
If perfection remains a deeply ingrained value for you, try replacing ideals of a perfect product or a perfect performance with a vision of something like perfect balance in your life. After all, the essence of balance is learning when to let go. As you move toward living a more balanced life (rather than striving for impossible goals and rewards) you cultivate new strengths, and learn to take genuine satisfaction in living each moment as it comes (and regaining control of your time.)
"Getting the thing done, whatever it is, in time to actually use and enjoy it is what matters the most." - Ken McCarthy
So start putting yourself in a position to let go of perfectionism and find more productivity and satisfaction in your day, beginning with this very moment.
And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, the Finding Time Success Kit which includes "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" Using a workbook format, this powerful and practical time template will help you move beyond overwhelm, disappointment, and frustration and discover that 24 hours really are enough!
Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D. The Time Finder Expert.
Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who specializes in mentoring heart-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, from the inside out, to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.
Learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management System™ and begin your transformational journey by signing up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how to find time for what matters most.