Release Perfectionism: Have More Time for What Matters

There are real obstacles that can keep you from having time to work on your Big Vision (long work hours, family responsibilities, illness, etc.). And then there’s perfectionism.

The desire to be “the best” and to do it “right” takes a lot of time. And energy. Physical energy to go the metaphorical “extra mile” and mental energy to continuously tell yourself you’re not doing and being enough. According to this article and this study, perfectionism is actually associated with depression.

You may have enough hours in the day for your Big Vision, but because you’re spending so much time and energy trying to do and be enough, that time disappears.

So, what can you do about it? Below are some ideas from people who have more psychological expertise than I do (see links at the end for sources):

9 ideas for how to reduce perfectionism and have more time for what matters

1. Become aware of your perfectionism.

2. List the pros and cons of your perfectionism.

3. Consciously choose to do less than your best (and experience how the world doesn’t fall apart).

4. Define what success means to you.

5. Set realistic goals.

6. Focus on enjoying the process.

7. See mistakes as learning opportunities.

8. Practice noticing what’s working well.

9. Get help from a professional counselor.

As someone who (ahem) has some perfectionist tendencies, if I can catch myself spending too much time and energy trying to make something perfect, I’ll ask myself, “What would I do now if I didn’t think it needed to be perfect?” I like this question because there’s no judgement in it. It’s more of an opportunity for curious wondering.

I also like something my friend Siel Ju, author of Cake Time, asks herself sometimes, “What would this look like if I made this easy?”

If you find yourself constantly feeling frustrated that you don’t have time to work on your Big Vision for your work in the world, ask yourself, “Is it because of perfectionism?” If it is, lift the dam of perfectionism and notice what time is released.

Clarify your Big Vision and bring it down to earth.

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Related post

5 Ideas for How to Find Time for the Things You Really Want to Do.


10 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism, Oregon Counseling.

Perfectionism, Brown University Counseling and Psychological Services.

Your Best Life: Perfectionism—The Bane of Happiness by John D. Kelly, IV

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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