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Avoid perfectionism and overcome procrastination

It's time
It's time
Steve A Johnson

On of my favorite quotations about perfectionism is this one from artist Salvador Dali: "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."

I think he really hits the nail on the head with that one. Whenever I read it, I realize, yes, I'm free of that worry because there's no point in worrying about something that will never happen.

Once you realize that you don't need to worry about anything being perfect, you can release all that negative self-talk and get busy using your skills and talents to achieve your goals.

Perfectionism is not the same as having high standards; it's having impossible standards.

Perfectionism prevents you from being effective and sometimes from even acting at all. To get around this, start small.

One drawer at a time.
If you want to get your office organized, tackle one drawer or shelf at a time, not the whole room. Do the rubber bands have to be sorted by color and size? No, they just have to be all together in one place.

Remember what your goal is here: being able to find things quickly and get things done efficiently. That will help you stand back and see if you’re spending way too much time on something that’s not very important. Embrace the philosophy of "good enough." Do your best so that you can move on and make progress.

Perfectionists often get stuck on small details that they feel are very important. When they look in the drawer, they *want* to see the rubber bands arranged according to color. I understand that it can be difficult and uncomfortable to be sloppy in the details.

However, if you want to get things done, you will have to choose your battles. Your exquisite sense of balance and placement will have far greater results when applied to your personal goals than to your pencil tray.

Pick a short amount of time to spend on it. Remember that the goal is to find what you're looking for easily when you open the drawer. Decide that you have an hour to spend. When you know that, you can start calculating how fast you have to go to complete the task.

This is important. I know very competent people who do way too much because they don’t think anyone can do what they do as well as they can. Well, they may be right! But the point is, they now have to do everything themselves.

There are some situations where your perfectionism can have free rein, such as a hobby that involves making something, whether it's a car or a garden or an intricate piece of jewelry. In those cases, it may not really matter to you whether you finish your creation. What drives you is the process and improving your skills.

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