Perfectionism and Procrastination


Are you a perfectionist who procrastinates? If there is clutter in your home or office, or projects you have started and not completed, you may just be a perfectionist.

It’s actually at odds that a perfectionist would be prone to procrastination; but both of these characteristics go hand-in-hand. Extreme perfectionists only see the goal they have in mind to accomplish, but have such high standards for themselves that they rarely accomplish their goal. They will sometimes worry so much about doing things incorrectly or imperfectly that they don’t do anything at all and become paralyzed with fear; scared of making any progress that might cause them to fail.

While I am not a perfectionist, I do tend to procrastinate on certain things.

I accomplished two small tasks today
, and I am pleased with myself. A while back, I purchased a battery for a watch that had stopped telling time. Upon arriving home and trying to open the back of the watch, I realized that I didn’t have the tools to open it up and insert the battery. I was unhappy that I couldn’t do this myself. So, I left the battery and watch on a corner of my office desk thinking I would take it to a jeweler in the next couple of days to be fixed.

First task of the day today:
And, now six months later and frustrated at having to ask other people for the time, I finally went to a local jewelry shop, paid them $4.00, and finally have a working watch.

Second task of the day: I received my parking permit renewal reminder over a month ago, and kept telling myself that I would go down to the city’s parking/permit office tomorrow or the next day to purchase the new permit. The notice took up space on my desk all this time, and I now was annoyed with myself that I hadn’t taken care of it, especially since I had only a few days left to renew. I could have gone on-line to apply, but procrastinated until it was too late. I went to the parking office today and paid for a new permit. I felt good that I had finally taken this step.

Don’t expect to accomplish doing various tasks or un-cluttering your kitchen, bedroom, etc, in one day. You will certainly fail if you have such great expectations. Take small steps. Make the decision to accomplish just one task a day. To begin with, choose one area in a room such as the cluttered kitchen table. You don’t have to clear the entire table at once. Just start. Begin to practice your imperfection by clearing off one quarter of the table’s surface at a relaxed pace. Let yourself feel good about the results by telling yourself that accomplishing this feat is enough for now!

One little step at a time will aid you in decreasing your fears of perfection.

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