11 Jan

9 Ways Your Perfectionism Trait Is Holding You Back

Do you find yourself always going over and over things you have done, just to make sure it is perfect? Do you question your ability to get things done properly – undermining your capabilities? Do you ever feel frustrated about how much you get done—and how much you don’t accomplish? Do you ever wish you could be more productive but think it’s impossible? There may be an underlying cause of your lack of productivity that you aren’t even aware of… perfectionism.

Perfectionism is more than just doing things correct. Perfectionism entails an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to everything: work, home life, exercise, friends, creative projects, you name it. Something is either perfect or it’s an utter failure. It’s either done right or it’s done wrong. This all-or-nothing mentality can be your kryptonite when it comes to productivity. Here are nine ways perfectionism might be robbing you of your productivity:


1. Stress

Perfectionism is very stressful. There’s a constant conversation in your brain pushing you to do something more to make it perfect. Research shows that perfectionism contributes to increased stress and risk for burnout. And that stress can have a negative impact on your productivity.


2. Avoidance

With an all-or-nothing mentality, perfectionism can create the thought of “If I can’t be perfect then why even bother?!”  An example is wanting to be healthier but you think the only way to do so is to have a gym routine – and since you are too busy to do so, then exercise is out.  Yet there are other ways to keep fit – go for walks around your estate, do some squats whilst on the phone, take the stairs instead of the lift.  The perfectionistic attitude will have you avoid any form of exercise at – if it is not the regimented program of a gym.   Another place where perfectionism can lead to avoidance occurs when waiting for the “perfect” moment to get started on a project. In reality, there is no perfect moment, so get started now – especially the beginning of the year.


3. Fear of failure

While ostensibly perfectionism is about wanting to be perfect, on a deeper level it’s based on an intense fear of failure. A fear of failure not only increases your stress but also reduces your ability to be productive in other ways. For example, if you’re so fearful of failure you may not take a risk to try something new that may help you advance your project.


4. Multitasking

The perfectionist often thinks that she needs to get it all done now, which can result in multitasking.  There is nothing wrong in multitasking but research overwhelmingly shows that multitasking depletes our ability to be productive. I have experienced it on many occasions until I began realistically pace the tasks out.


5. Don’t let yourself take a break.

Along with multitasking, a perfectionist often focuses on the need to get stuff done NOW. He often avoids taking time out for himself, thinking that he needs to put his attention on and focus on work. In reality, taking a break can help you be much more productive. The counter effect is to burn yourself out, make mistakes or become unbearable with colleagues and loved ones.


6. Indecisiveness

With an all-or-nothing, perfect-or-failure thinking, making a decision can be difficult for perfectionists. Fearful of making the wrong decision, they often overanalyze and have trouble picking just one decision and sticking with it. This can lead to reduced productivity, as well as lots of unnecessary stress.  This can affect decision making and stale important decisive moves.


7. Difficulty completing a task

Because perfectionists often have unrealistically high expectations, there’s a sense that it’s never good enough to be complete, so a project is  may not get finished on time or never finished. As a result, they may continue to focus on minute details as opposed to completing the project and moving on.  There is a difference between being thorough and delay through being finicky.


8. Can’t say no

With perfectionism can often come people-pleasing—the inability to say no to tasks or not wanting to turn off email or phone for fear that someone will need them. I had a client once tell me that she had to check her emails morning, noon, and night, weeknights and weekends, in case someone needed her attention. That inability to set any limits can severely hinder your productivity.


9. Difficulty delegating

A perfectionist can have difficulty delegating for several reasons. One, there’s a sense that they “should” do it all. Another is the notion that others can’t do it as well as you. Both of these beliefs get in the way of delegating. In reality, delegation is an important part of increasing your productivity.

Do any of these sound like you? If so, then I have some free tips for you on how to overcome perfectionism to boost your productivity and success. Send for these to: lailasmd@gmail.com

We also have coaching sessions to assist you to overcome the perfectionism trait. Get in touch with me at lailasmd@gmail.com

reference: mind,body, soul

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