WORKPLACE / DEC. 21, 2014
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How to Stop Perfectionism from Ruining Your Work Life

You might take pride in being a perfectionist. You enjoy your work, and it’s your determination to give your boss 110% each time. But unfortunately, perfectionism can become a major hurdle and impact productivity. You may spend more than necessary completing tasks and constantly second-guess yourself, resulting in undue stress. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this issue. Here are five ways to stop perfectionism from ruining your work life.

1. Stop comparing yourself to others

If you’re constantly looking at your co-worker’s performance, you make aim to reach their level. Unfortunately, comparing yourself to others often does more harm than good. It breeds competition. The truth of the matter is, we all have our own special talents and skills. Some people are natural negotiators or sales people, and some people have the ability to work quickly without compromising efficiency. The important thing is that you do your personal best.

2. Set reasonable time limits

Perfectionism may cause you to spend more time than necessary completing projects. If you notice this bad habit, you’ll need to set reasonable time limits for finishing your work. For example, if it normally takes 30 minutes to complete a particular task, set your timer and aim to finish within this time frame. If you develop a habit of spending 45 minutes or longer on assignments that don’t require this much attention, perfectionism can cause you to fall behind schedule.

3. Realize how perfectionism affects others

With the above point in mind, if your perfectionism has an impact on productivity, this habit can start to affect your co-workers. For example, you may need to complete a specific task before a co-worker can do his job and complete the next step. If you take longer than anticipated to finish an assignment, this pushes everything back, thus delaying projects and resulting in deadline extensions.

4. Relax your standards to see how your boss responds

You may think you have to give your employer 200% for him or her to be satisfied with your performance. There’s nothing wrong with striving to give your best. But in most cases, your boss doesn’t need 200% — he’ll gladly accept 100%, or maybe 90%. This doesn’t suggest slacking on assignments or turning in half completed work. However, if you slightly relax personal standards you set for yourself, you may discover that your boss is just as happy with your work. 

5. Consider a change

Sometimes, our bosses can contribute to our perfectionism. If your boss requires perfection at all times, his or her ways can rub off on you. Striving to perform at your best is okay and helps you reach goals and challenge yourself. But nobody is perfect, and if your boss isn’t satisfied with your best, and constantly requires that you go over and beyond the call of duty, this pressure can reduce job satisfaction and take your stress level to a new high. If the stress and expectations become too much to handle, it might be time to consider other employment opportunities.

If you’re determined to do everything perfectly, you’ll drive yourself crazy. At the end of the day, all you can do is your best and remember that nobody is perfect.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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