Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Why Perfect isn't Productive
It's easy to worry about things being perfect - whether you could have improved or not. Generally this is a good thing because it eventually makes a difference as to whether you are really good at something or not. The word 'perfectionist' is tossed around a lot. Being a perfectionist isn't really where any of us want to head. The little details of not getting something to what you perceive as just right can often become larger stumbling blocks, that take your attention away from the main objective. Used in a positive way, you can use the obsession with things being perfect to your advantage to hone your skills and push your limits. But it shouldn't become centre stage - perfectionism can be an enemy of creativity.
Have you ever noticed that people who don't worry and fuss over their business as much always seem to get further along? Some have a better product but never get as far as the person next to them, despite this. By worrying and fussing over our businesses/work to no end, we start treating them like a child that has a nanny over his shoulder 24/7 going "no,no" and "nah-uh". He will never grow or thrive like he would if he was allowed a little more freedom to explore, learn and wander. He'd probably be more stressed than happy too, because his primary care-givers were so anxious about his well being all the time.
I have a strong dislike of perfectionism. It's a creativity disrupter. There is a big difference between wanting to do a really good job with something and accomplishing that, and being a perfectionist - it creeps into every aspect of life. A few years ago, my driving instructor pointed out that when I made a mistake, I stayed fixated on the mistake instead of moving forward. A bit of a light bulb moment for me. In the car, perfectionism was dangerous. I suddenly wondered how much time I was wasting in everyday life thinking like this?
One day, I came across the quote "It's better to be done, than perfect" I was a little shocked....I thought REALLY? The instant I see the words "not perfect" my brain goes into - "oh my gosh you mean, don't do a good job?" I realised on days when I got so much achieved and done, I hadn't been in the 'perfect' frame of mind, I had just done my work, knowing I did a good job and moved onto the next task.
I decided to try the "Get it Done" mentality. That didn't mean I started doing a sloppy job but I did let go of the controlling worry. Ticking off goals everyday is much more productive than obsessing over the tiny details of one item. In the real world, we just have to get things done, don't we? We do a good job, we move on to the next item on the agenda. By getting things done, you actually move through your task list and continue to improve. You have to get yourself out there and you can hit the ground running. You won't know what faults you need to iron out until you gain some momentum, so you might as well start anyway!
Give yourself permission to have a go, and if you fall down, you will get right back up again, maybe with a little dust and bruises but there are washing machines and band-aids for that. Creativity will flourish when your mind is free of worry.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? Please share your story below!
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