As a lighthearted reminder that done is better than perfect, I sometimes intentionally reverse this adage with clients as we hang a shelf or assemble a bookcase. Unless you’re performing brain surgery or submitting a résumé, perfect isn’t always necessary.
An ounce of perfectionism as we strive for advancement in life can serve us well. It works in a corporate setting. You work hard; you get ahead. It’s the way the world works. However, we can cross a line, and real perfectionism can actually get in our way, exhaust us, and reduce our productivity.
I see perfectionism often in my work, and clients are relieved that someone recognizes their efforts and attention to detail. You may wonder why a perfectionist needs a Professional Organizer. The answer is simple. Perfectionism bogs you down in detail, and can make a task more laborious than it needs to be. It can also lead to procrastination.
See if you relate to any of the following statements:
– If I don’t have time to organize the whole closet today, I’ll wait until I do. There’s no sense doing a little at a time.
– I get anxious about starting a project because I don’t know how to do it the right way? Therefore, I’ll devote an inordinate amount of time to planning.
– Once started, my projects take longer than needed because I re-think them or re-work them constantly.
– I often miss deadlines because I am unable to submit a project and be satisfied with the end result.
– I don’t like asking for help and/or showing weakness.
To get moving, ask yourself these questions:
- Does your effort match the importance of the task? If not, try dialing it back a notch.
- Can I break this project down into smaller tasks? If so, can I be satisfied doing those small tasks well (not perfect)?
- Is one of the reasons I haven’t started indecisiveness? What do I need to know in order to get started?
- This project or task will take as long as I allow it. How much time does it deserve?
In closing, I offer you the following new mantras:
– Done is better than perfect.
– I did my best.
– My friends are coming to visit me, not my house.
– My boss is more likely to notice adherence to deadlines than be impressed by how much time I put into a project.
I won’t lie to you. Change involves stretching your comfort zone, but it comes with rich rewards.
If perfectionism still stands between you and organization, consider hiring a Professional Organizer. We’re trained to help you clear clutter and teach you systems to help maintain order.
P.S. I always measure twice, but that’s our secret.