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Author: Sue FrostChallenging Disorganization Goal Setting Productivity Project Management Time Management

Measure Once, Cut Twice

Strive-for-Progress-Not-PerfectionAs 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.

Measuring tape

 

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