The Web of Perfectionism: How Not to Get Stuck

Do you find yourself agonizing over every little detail? Does it take you 3 times as long to finish a task because you are trying to get it “just right?” If so, you might be a perfectionist? It’s not an uncommon personality trait to see in the business world and it can be an aid to push people to attempt to do their best. In extreme cases, though, it leads to wasted time and resources.  The outcome usually doesn’t justify the immense effort that went into it. If you find yourself in the web of extreme perfectionism, here are a few tips that can lead you out.

Make a Decision and Stick to it
When you choose on a direction to take and announce it to your employees, stick to it. One of the pitfalls of perfectionism is wasted time second-guessing yourself. If you are constantly changing gears after your team has started the project, then you have wasted those recourses. You might never know if your third, fourth, or fifth decision would be any better.  As the saying goes, go with your gut!

Trus t your Employees
When you tell your staff your plan and what resources you’ll need from them, listen to their input. They will let you know if it’s possible and if they think it’s a good idea. Paying attention to their insight will help keep you from sliding into another guessing game. Another piece to this is, trusting your employees to do their part well. You hired them because they are skilled, right? Lastly, before you start implementing your plan, just in case…

Have a Plan B
You never know what’s going to happen! An obstacle may arise that can’t be overcome, so make sure you have a plan B. A backup plan can help you from getting entrenched to deeply in your first plan and devastated if things go wrong. The more flexible and ready for change you are, the easier it is to adapt to things life throws at you.

Perfectionism could have a beneficial effect as it can make you endeavor to be your best, but that pressure can lead to stress and wasted time. Try to stay flexible and strive for your personal best. If you find yourself caught up in perfectionism, the steps I’ve outlined above should help. You can also read this article to learn how to avoid perfectionism pitfalls all together.