Time management tips help you live with power and purpose – but only if you identify your personal time issues and adopt just the right approach. Use these 5 quick questions to discover if your productivity is paralyzed by perfectionism.
Is It Dedication to Excellence or Paralyzing Perfectionism?
If you resign yourself to thankless hours poring over projects for the hundredth time, you doom yourself to a lifetime of wasted time and wasted opportunities, too! Yet you may resist changing this behavior.
That’s because the poison of perfectionism is often confused with dedication to excellence. As a result, many conscientious workers actively protect perfectionism. Do you or someone you care about fall into that trap?
Find out right now whether your wish to excel is healthy or something that robs you of your time and peace of mind.
Productive or Perfectionist? 5 Quick Questions
1. Is Your Life Out of Balance?
Balance is impossible to achieve when you work non-stop and constantly feel that nothing you do will ever be enough.
2. Are You Feeling Bitter & Not Better As You Work Harder?
Perhaps resentment dominates your emotional landscape and you feel out of control of your life and your time. If so, you may have sacrificed your autonomy. Look for cues like a rigid smile. I call this the “silent scream” that reflects stress rather than happiness or self-confidence.
3. Are You Reactive Rather Than Responsive?
Reactivity is a knee-jerk response to others’ words and actions. Whenever you anxiously try to be “perfect” for someone else while neglecting your own needs, you become reactive, not responsive. This adds to your stress, drains your energy and eats up valuable time.
4. Is Damaging Discord Replacing Easy Interactions?
Take note of when conflicts arise, especially in your key relationships. Perfectionists often place impossible demands on themselves to perform and on others to reward them. This brings about a deep sense of disappointment. In anger, you may punish the same people you wished to impress! Naturally, this pattern sabotages your efforts, steals your time, and generates negative dynamics.
5. Has Your Productivity Become Paralyzed?
In extreme situations, your productivity comes to a screeching halt as anxiety over possible mistakes saps your incentive to explore and expand.
3 Empowering Exercises To Restore Productivity
• When You Recognize Your Perfectionism, Validate Your Discovery!
At first, you might find it challenging to see and own up to your perfectionist tendencies… but don’t empower the discomfort! Think of how you liberate yourself by facing the perfectionism that robs your life and your time of possibilities. And, of course be sure to validate yourself!
• Create a Balanced Schedule & Practice Sticking to It.
Use self-discipline to your advantage by catching when you neglect basic needs like adequate sleep, healthy eating and moderate exercise. Set limits on unreasonable work schedules and gradually reintegrate self-care back into your life.
• Foster Emotional Autonomy
For 3 days, document situations where you allow perfectionism to poison your productivity. Are you placing your needs below someone else’s? If so, gently and gradually practice assertiveness by saying no to unreasonable demands. The more you advocate for yourself, the more self-referenced you will become.
Heal Your Time Use, Change Your Life
If you are a lifelong perfectionist, offer yourself plenty of patience and support. Focus on the immediate moment you are in, savor the power of right now, and engage wholeheartedly. Learn to please yourself with balance, not brilliance. You might discover that perfectionism has stifled your past efforts, and that autonomous self-acceptance liberates your temperament and your time.© Copyright 2013 Paula Eder, Ph.D.