Perfectionism is an interesting topic. It’s produced by the inherent tension of wanting our work to be at its best quality. Feeling like a perfectionist is fairly common, but over-indexing on the quality side can cause negative side effects like wasted time, stress, and paralysis. Effective outcomes lie somewhere in between.
1. Insecurity about how it will be perceived
Learn to handle criticism better
2. An internal quality bar
What is actually realistic?
How is this hindering your outcomes?
1. Explore trade-offs between effort and results
a. Diminishing returns
b. Set effort proportionately
i. If it’s low impact, low effort is fine
c. Rule of thumb: What is wrong vs. It’s not good enough
d. “Good enough” or “Go for a B” or 80/20
2. Know the importance of process
a. Almost all activities allow or even demand a learning curve
i Set baselines and incremental growth
3. Recognize binary thinking
a. Few activities are make or break
4. Timebox the effort
a. Release after x hours of effort, unless something is critically wrong.
5. Divorce your self-worth from outcomes
a. Train your mindset from ‘not enough’ to ‘best effort’
b. Make it as good as you can, but know that space for improvement is human, expected, and part of the learning process
1. In what realms are you most likely to fall into perfectionism?
2. Are your efforts in those realms proportionate to results?
3. Are you more prone to internal or external perfectionism?
4. Do you usually view projects as a process or as binary?
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