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Written by: Jenkins Ebiware Jr . September 23, 2021

How to Stop Being a Perfectionist and Become Productive

By: Jenkins Ebiware Jr

This article is dedicated to all you perfectionists out there. Yeah, you know who you are. ;)

If you’re anything like I was, you find yourself spending extra time tweaking and improving on things that doesn’t really add value to your business. 

It’s easy to get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. This can also go hand-in-hand with those who struggle with procrastination.  These two professional struggles are like twins. You can’t always tell them apart.

Overcoming being a perfectionist is one of the hardest things many of us will ever do because chances are, we’ve been like this our entire lives and not just in our professional lives.  We want things to be as great as they can be and we find it hard to settle for anything less. When it comes to your work, this can lead to delayed launches or projects that never get to market.  We pick it apart, come up with new ideas or ways to constantly improve it. 

Now don’t get me wrong, being a perfectionist can be an incredible asset for professionals because it also means that we won’t just throw out lousy results or projects just to be doing something.  At the same time, we need to learn to let go and that nothing will ever be perfect no matter how much time or energy we spend on it.  

The key is to start looking at perfectionism as an enemy to your career growth. It will cost you money and time.  Being perfect is impossible and putting out an error-free product or a service that doesn’t ever encounter its share of hiccups is also unachievable. 

One of the ways to improve productivity is to assign a time frame to each product either by days or hours, and stick to it.  Set a deadline for yourself and be ruthless in not allowing any changes to be made. Taking action is the only way you’ll ever get to the level of success that you deserve, so try to adopt the mindset that it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done.  Launched is better than perfect. 

Available is better than a project sitting on your hard drive.  Sure, there’s always room to improve and you will, but only by being consistently productive and seeing things through. Here are a few ideas and ways of thinking that have helped me to stay on track and maximize the value of the time I spend on any project.

Failures Will Make You a Better Professional

I know, hard to believe, but it’s true.  If you accept that despite the best laid project plans and the most detailed strategies known to man, you’re still going to encounter struggles and failures, then you’ll become a better, more confident and focused entrepreneur.  

Don’t let mistakes or failures weigh you down.

Instead, learn from every mistake because they’re important lessons that will help you create better products or cater to clients and customers in a more effective way.

Set time limits on everything.

Just like we can easily go overboard with the time we spend on projects; we can equally do the same with our down-time.  Try to create a balance between having a personal life and a consistent work one.  Commit to a schedule and stick to it. 

Perfectionists can easily waste a ton of valuable time by focusing on only one aspect of a project. Instead, work towards prioritizing your goals based on what’s most important.  Focus on getting that done and you won’t struggle to meet deadlines or find yourself scrambling to get other things done because you spent too much time on just one thing.

Hold yourself accountable when you mess up.
If you’re struggling to get things done, it’s easy to switch up your routine believing that will help you get back on track.  However, if you take the time to analyze why you really fell behind in the first place, chances are you’ll be able to identify where things went wrong and it’s not always deserving of a new routine.

Take a step back and think about where and when your efforts were derailed. 

Were you spending too much time in email or on social media?

Did you fail at prioritizing your goals and ended up spending too much time on things that don’t matter as much?

Self-correcting and holding yourself accountable are two very important lessons when it comes to being successful in your work. 

The key is to develop habits that help you to work and to play.  Sound strange? It’s not really.  Just like you need to figure out a way to get into work mode, you also have to develop habits that help you shut it down when your creativity or quality begins to decline.

It’s way too easy to say “just one more hour”, or to push through and get that “one more thing done”, but it does you no good if you end up having to revise that work because you were so burned out that you didn’t give your very best.  Your business deserves the best of you and so do your clients or customers. 

Holding yourself accountable isn’t always easy, but it’s the enemy of procrastination and perfectionism. You won't be afraid of the fear of failure and striving to be perfect. If you take the time to identify where you went wrong, you’ll stay clear of self-doubt by immediately correcting the issue and moving on.

Jenkins Ebiware Jr is the Managing Director of Samex LLC. Passionate about technology and software development. It's his dream to help people make the right decisions for their personal lives, careers and businesses. Leading them to become highly performing individuals, leading highly profitable companies.

To Dive Deeper and Get Strategies on How to Stop Being a Perfectionist and Become Productive, Take our Planning for Success Evaluation.

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