The Web of Perfectionism - How Not to Get Stuck

Are you a perfectionist? Many of us are!  Perfectionism can help to keep us motivated, work harder, and achieve more, but will it always help your performance or can it hinder you too? If you find yourself focusing too much on getting the perfect outcome or debating and changing things repeatedly, then you may be walking the line of extreme perfectionism. This can lead to wasted time and resources, particularly if you are managing people. In the end, the result doesn’t justify the effort and stress it can cause. Here are some great ways to keep yourself out of the net of extreme perfectionism.

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 traps of perfectionism is wasted time second-guessing yourself. If you're constantly changing gears after your team has begun the project, then you have wasted those recourses. You may never know if your third, fourth, or fifth decision would be any better.  As they say, go with your gut!

Trust your Employees
Listen to the input from your employees when you have unveiled your plan. They are great resources and will let you know what is possible. If they like the plan then it’s probably worth using. Their support will help prevent you from sliding into the second-guessing game that I previously talked about. Another way to prevent wasted time is not to micromanage your workforce. When you have assigned tasks, take a step back and let them manage those tasks. You hired them for their competence in the first place, right? And before you execute your plan …

Have a Plan B
Sometimes things go wrong, so develop a backup plan. This will keep you more flexible mentally and keep you from being held to the constraints of your first plan. The more flexible you are, the more you'll be able to handle the “non-perfect” things that happen throughout your plan and your day.

Perfectionism can have a beneficial effect as it may 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.