Win the Battle With Your Inner Perfectionist At Work
I just found out that its “National Procrastination Week”. Who knew? I’m wondering who marshalled
support in Congress to get this law passed? But anyway, let’s take advantage of the attention on
this widespread challenge and discuss strategies to take back the reins on your productivity. There
are many reasons for procrastination, but let’s focus on a common one today: Perfectionism.
How much time has your inner perfectionist been sucking from you lately? Here’s how to win the battle:
1) Get your Inner Perfectionist to have a little ‘sit down talk’ with your Inner Bill Payer. Get
everyone on board that in the short term and in the long term:
“Done makes more money than Perfect!”
2) Disabuse your Inner Perfectionist of the notion that it is omniscient and can read the mind of your prospects, clients, colleagues, and boss. Rather, explain to it that the best way to do a job that will please others is to put out a first iteration and get feedback on exactly what other people want from your deliverable. Then turn your deliverable around incorporating their feedback.
3) Make sure your Inner Perfectionist knows the value that you are being paid to provide. For example, I coached a small business in which the owner had a very high performing entry level analyst who would pull all nighters to get the numbers right to the 9th decimal point. However, the owner of the firm just wanted a percentage range so he could provide investment estimates to his clients. The analyst of course would come in trashed with exhaustion the next day – and not able to be at her best for her duties.
If you are being paid to be a detailed oriented perfectionist, then have at it! If not, you are doing yourself and everyone else a disservice. Know the value you are being paid to provide and be perfectionistic at providing that value!
4) Require your Inner Perfectionist have a clear idea of the outcome you want to create before you start explaining what you want to other people. Otherwise, you will create resentment in the people you work with and decrease your ability to get highest quality work from them in the future.
What are the challenges and successes you have had in the battles with your Inner Perfectionist?
Leave them on the blog below
(Note: Til the end of this National Procrastination Week, I’ll also be tweeting links to my most
popular blogs on procrastination in case you missed them the first time around, get them at
@drsharonmelnick). If you prefer to hear me talking about tips to move past procrastination via
audio, go to www.sharonmelnick.com to get fr*ee excerpts of From Procrastination to Productivity:
25 Proven Techniques to Stop Procrastinating)