So much of being a perfectionist is putting off key tasks because you want to make sure you have everything perfectly in place before you get on with it. Find out what advice life coach and ESSENCE.com blogger Valorie Burton had to give when a self-confessed perfectionist reaches out in an effort to break the habit...
Dear Valorie, I am a procrastinator, but it's not out of laziness. I'm a perfectionist about everything. Whether it's projects I need to tackle at work or home, I have a hard time getting started and a hard time delegating because I don't think other people will do it the way I want it done. How can I break my perfectionism habit? Answer: Dear Ms. Perfect, Try these three strategies to reign in your perfectionism habit: 1. Focus on progress, not perfection.
Get a clear sense of the purpose in everything you do. Then it will be easier to know which things deserve that extra time to get things "just right," and which things don't. 2. Set your minimum standard, and stop when you meet it.
Today, we are bombarded with more choices and options than ever before. It can be easy to get stuck in a cycle of trying to make every choice the perfect choice, but research shows that people who do this are more anxious and less content. Whether you are deciding what to order off the menu or which new television to buy, get clear about your minimum standards - and once you find an answer that meets those minimum standards, choose it. Stop searching for more options. In his book, The Paradox of Choice, professor and psychologist Dr. Barry Schwartz refers to people who use this strategy as "satisficers" - and they are generally happier and more successful. Those who keep looking, comparing, and fruitlessly searching for the most perfect solution are called "maximizers." Even after they make their choice, they often second guess and wonder if they could have done better. Save yourself the stress and start satisficing. 3. If you must perfect something, perfect your top priority.
If you are a hard core perfectionist, get clear about your top priority. Give yourself permission to perfect that, but refuse to give extra time trying to perfect the things that do not top your priority list. After all, if you're going to get one thing just right, make sure it's the thing that has the most impact. Personal and executive coach Valorie Burton is the author of several books, including What's Really Holding You Back? and How Did I Get So Busy?. Subscribe to her free, weekly e-newsletter online at www.valorieburton.com. Catch more of Burton's helpful advice on her ESSENCE.com blog "Life Coach 911." Read More: