If you procrastinate often, then there’s a high chance you’re a perfectionist. Sometimes taking care of all the details is good, but most of the time, it’s a road to nowhere. Literally.
You have to learn to be ok with things that are good enough. Because, you know, they are good enough!
Don’t tolerate mediocrity, but also, don’t be obsessive about minor flaws or problems.
As Mark Zuckerberg said, “Better done than perfect.”
Just get things done.
I was a huge perfectionist, and it often held me back. I’m still not entirely over my perfectionism, but my fight with it has been quite successful.
Ok, so how not to let perfectionism hold you back?
These are my tips.
Make personal deadlines and stick to them.
In a corporate world, deadlines are common, and often, they’re non-negotiable. They help the employees stay on track and work towards the goal.
If you have your own business or a personal goal, sticking to self-imposed deadlines may be challenging. But you need to do it anyway.
In the previous chapter, I wrote about priorities. If you treat your goals seriously, then go a step further: make deadlines for your tasks. Dividing work into daily and weekly tasks works the best for me, and I guess it would work the best for most of us.
Nevertheless, don’t spend much time making long-term deadlines because they usually aren’t effective. Only when you start working on a big goal, you begin to see how much time it might take.
And one more thing: if you have a deadline, stick to it even when you’re results aren’t perfect, but good enough. This may feel weird at first, but after a while, you’ll see that you’re far more productive and happy this way.
If you do anything, you do more than most people.
Most people don’t do anything to make their big dreams come true, for many possible reasons. Maybe they have too many ideas and don’t know where to start. Perhaps they have a very stressful and time-consuming job, and at the end of the day, they lack the strength and motivation to do anything more. Maybe they don’t think about big goals because they assume they still have a lot of time to take care of them.
Maybe you’re one of these people right now.
Nevertheless, if you’re reading this text, you’re already doing more than the majority of people—because you actually started to think about your future.
Big goals won’t just magically happen. They need to be named and taken care of by thoughtful planning and hard work.
Once you realize that you’re the one who pulls strings, you can get unstoppable.
A small step is better than no step.
In the previous chapter, I wrote about the necessity to divide big goals into tiny steps and always being clear about the next step ahead of you.
I would add one more thing to that. No matter how tiny your step is, it’s still better than doing nothing!
Don’t be hard on yourself—you don’t need to be super effective and motivated every day. You’re not a robot. Sometimes you have less time, you catch a cold or just have a bad day.
Nevertheless, when such day comes, try to do anything, like reading a blog post you saved a few weeks back and forgot about it. Doing even such a teeny-tiny step will make you feel better and help you stay consistent and focused on your goal.
Remember that most people mind their own business.
I wrote about it in this blog post: “18 Hard Truths That Will Make You See Life Differently”
Most people have only their interest in mind, and there’s nothing wrong with this.
Everyone has their own problems, challenges and dreams. And they’re focused on them, in the first place.
Once you acknowledge this, you’ll realize that no one cares that much about your failures. If you fail at anything, some people may gossip, but after a while, they’ll be back to minding their own business.
So, don’t be afraid to make bold decisions and be true to you.
Being perfect is unnecessary and … boring.
Think about the people you admire the most—people you respect for their actions, people you consider successful. Are they perfect? No! They probably have some flaws (who hasn’t?), but instead of focusing on them, they nurture their strengths.
That’s the beauty of business—and life in general. As long as you provide good value to your customers, no one will notice that you don’t look like a model or have a strange accent. And if you have flaws, people like you more because they can identify themselves with you.
And besides, would you like to be friends with a person who is perfect in every way? Perfection is intimidating and kinda dull.
PS. I have a confession to make. I’m not a native English speaker, which has been a tremendous challenge for me while working on this blog. I wrote about it in this article, where I give some tips for non-natives.