It doesn’t get any better than perfect, right? If a project or task is done perfectly then it’s the most we could hope for. Perfection is what we all should strive for whether we’re working for ourselves or someone else. Employers always seek employees who make every effort to get it perfect. Is this how you think?
These are a few of the thoughts most people have about people who are perfectionists and perfectionism in general. Well, in theory this is good, but in reality perfectionism has a few drawbacks. The dictionary says perfection is an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence. It’s the act or process of perfecting something to a level for which most of us refuse to attain.
Perfectionism has been defined as when someone strives toward goals that are usually impossibly high but won’t settle for anything less. If it’s less than perfect, they view it as unacceptable.
If someone else does a better job, the perfectionist can go into depression and become useless on the next assignment or project. They feel they cannot be outdone. Rather than finish a job with imperfection, they had rather do nothing than risk not meeting their own self-imposed standards.
If you’ve been described as a perfectionist and want to change the way you are, the first thing you need to do is be aware of this condition and potential problems. It can be a blessing or a curse. It depends on how you handle it.
Perfectionism, when it manifests into procrastination, can be misdiagnosed as laziness. You may delay getting started on a task because you’re working to get it done perfectly. Work is never begun because you’re spending time planning every specific detail.
Perfectionists may be viewed as procrastinators and this can be true. You put off working because the project may be overwhelming with its magnitude and you don’t feel you can do it justice in the time allotted. You won’t settle for a vague estimate, you demand detailed figures before you begin.
Typically, if you’re working for someone else, you must at least get something done every day. Set deadlines for yourself on a portion of the project and see to it that these deadlines are met regardless of if it meets your standards.
What’s unacceptable to you may be perfectly fine for others. To help you meet your deadlines it might be wise to ask someone to keep a check on you to make sure you’re keeping on schedule.
Learn to be flexible and how to bend your own requirements until you reach a compromise. Allow yourself to do a less than perfect job and then listen to the critiques of your friends and co-workers. They’ll probably wonder how it could be any better.
Concentrate on the work you’re accomplishing and don’t worry so much about the end product. By doing this, the task you’ve tackled will eventually be complete and you’ll find you can function with perfectionism in a less than perfect world.