For Perfectionists Like Me…

I used to think that I was a procrastinator… always putting off something important. For instance, I’d clean my house and spend hours on that, instead of reaching out to customers or calling the cable company. Sometimes it’s the tasks that we know we can handle that we do first to avoid the less desirable ones. I could scrub a toilet more easily than focus on my manuscript or talk to my boss–it just felt easier.

It took some time and self-reflection, but I found that my procrastination was NOT about laziness. I would work hard at what I did, but it just might be in the wrong order, so much so that I would have no energy left when I finally got around to the “hard” tasks at the end of the day. The reason subconsciously why I would put off those harder tasks was really rooted in a need to have them perfect.

What I would do is instead of just completing the more challenging activity and getting it DONE, I would overcomplicate it. Instead of organizing my closet and just doing it, I’d think well I’ll need to have a donation pile, color code this, and iron all my items in the same day! Instead, all I needed to do was just, refold some items and donate a couple shirts. But in my mind, I’d already mentally created a roadblock, so then I never would actually get around to doing it.

We do that with a lot of things in life. We overcomplicate them in our minds, and never execute. We have good intentions, but never pull the trigger. I found that what I need to do to overcome this hurdle, is to just do it! I think many times it’s because we fear the failure, or think it needs to be perfect the first time around. But most things in life aren’t and require drafts and edits and revisions.

The blog post might have errors in it and might not be my BEST writing, but I did one today. The database I created might not be perfect yet, but I started it! My closet might not be thoroughly spic and span, but I’ve got a start on it.

I found that action is better than delayed perfection.

I can’t fix a piece of writing I never started and I can’t improve a goal that never existed. I need to start somewhere. And it may not be my destination, but it’s a beginning. And a beginning in action is better than a thought unexecuted.

 

 

Photo credit: http://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=07GLL4FN&id=39B08D6865BC01340940B478B43BA7F8556AD220&q=perfection&simid=608020641495975339&selectedIndex=9&ajaxhist=0

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