How Perfectionism Is Destroying Your Productivity

by | Jul 17, 2022

Today, we’re going to talk about how perfectionism could be holding you back from achieving the results that you want to achieve. Perfectionism can cost you big time, your productivity, your mental health, and ultimately, your income and results.

Why are you trying to be perfect?

If you’re reading this post, chances are that you already know that perfectionism is holding you back in some way. Whether it’s blocking you from doing something that you want, or something that you really know is good for you.

So what is the root cause of perfectionism causing us to actually be at the point of paralysis from action even if we know that that action is going to help us?

Well, often professionalism comes from trying to be a people pleaser, you really want to get it right so that everyone is happy with their end result.

No one’s mad at you, judging you, especially that judgment piece, and everyone loves it because it’s perfect. But perfectionism isn’t really possible because none of us are perfect. If you’re worried about judgment, and you’re a people pleaser. Think about a time in your life when pleasing people was important to your survival.

So for example, did you feel like you had to walk on eggshells around your parents in your family life? Like if you put a foot wrong, the worst would happen.

This can make us afraid to make any mistakes. And we’re so afraid of making a mistake that we stay still and don’t take any action. So how can we actually overcome perfectionism that is stopping us from the action or blocking us in some way?

How to overcome perfectionism that is stopping you from taking action

Well, the first tip is to make it bad on purpose, be willing to create something that is not perfect, that is even worse, and go and make something that is purposely not perfect. And it’s actually bad.

Like the last couple of sentences, I just said, even if you create a bad version just for you, or just for you and a friend, and you keep it private to start with, taking that action in that process of just getting started and bringing out that first version can help you to continue on that path and create a version that you are somewhat happy with.

The next tip is to practice leaving things unfinished for now. And this can be hard for some people, some people are all or nothing. And they think well, if I can’t finish all of this today, and then I don’t want to start at all, and then the cycle continues.

So practice starting something that you are not going to finish on purpose. And learning to be okay with that through practice is similar to how you can break down your projects into smaller bite-sized pieces so that it’s less overwhelming. And you can get little wins along the way.

So break down a project into say, 30-minute chunks, or even 10-minute chunks, so that you can just do that piece, that timepiece. And be happy with that, be willing to leave it at that if you have to leave it unfinished.

And if you do have more time to do the next piece, make sure you take a break in between and reward yourself for those little segments of the project.

Similarly to creating a bad version on purpose, you could think of it in a way of I’m just going to bring out version 1.0. And that can help open up the possibility that there may be more versions in the future.

Because if you’re creating something, let’s use digital products or courses, for example, if you’re creating something like that, it’s your business, you’re the boss, and it’s digital, or even things that aren’t digital, you can change it later.

If you have something printed out and a hard copy like a price list or a list of services, you can change it later. Everything is adjustable, adaptable and able to be changed because you are the boss and it’s your business.

So even if you want to bring out version 1.1 At some stage, just be willing to bring out version 1.0 and get that launched into the world. Speaking of launching, my next tip would be to release it before you’re ready.

There are always going to be challenges coming up that are getting in the way. If you are waiting for the perfect moment to do something, and nothing’s ever going to be perfect.

There’s always going to be some excuse if you’re looking for it to not take action. So set a deadline. I like to tell people the date that I’ll be releasing something, if it’s something that I’m putting out into the world, which it usually is something public, make it public, tell people, this is coming out on this date.

And then you have to do it. And that can really help give you some accountability, and spur you into action taking because you have to, which is something that we sometimes lack as business owners, and we’re not working for someone else and their deadlines anymore.

So by putting it out there and telling people it’s coming on this date, it sets a date that you’re going to get it done by and that can really help you to take action and just make it happen.

If you’re feeling really brave, I recommend that you can even do a pre-sale and take payments. If you’re releasing a course or something like that, put it on sale, say this is the date.

But you can grab an early bird price and purchase now and actually take people’s payments, and then your deadline is really real. This is how most of my courses have come into existence.

And if that sounds terrifying to you, why not start with just releasing something small, like a free PDF, a low-priced ebook or digital offer, or something like that.

If you’re setting a deadline and you have to do it and you have to make it happen. And you can get into the habit of going through this process. But it’s also not like these massive signature calls that you need to create and put stress on yourself.

Perfectionism at work

Prioritise actions that have the biggest impact first

My next tip is to prioritize the actions that really move the needle in your business. So often when we have those bigger tasks that are really going to make the difference to changing our business to suit our lifestyle more, bringing in more money, and getting more customers, they are the tasks that we’re often scared of the most.

And therefore, we put them off the most. And we’re most worried about getting them perfect. If you’re finding that these are the things that you’re putting off day after day, and it’s becoming or staying more of a pipe dream, than a task.

Be honest with yourself, do you really need to check those notifications first, or reply to emails first? Or can you instead prioritize doing the bigger, even less comfortable task first as a priority?

So that you’re actually moving the needle and doing income-creating activities before all of those little things that I call fluff tasks. Another part of perfectionism can be trying to hold on to control and not being willing to let go of that control to others.

And this can stop you from doing things in your business that would help you such as outsourcing. And outsourcing can really help your business to grow and really free up more time for you and take things off your plate.

But some people have control issues with that. And they’re like no one can do it right. So I may as well do it myself. So again, you may want to start outsourcing something small to get into the habit.

Do it a little piece at a time. And practice relinquishing a bit of that control. And letting people help you so that ultimately your business can grow. You might have heard the phrase before “Done is better than perfect”.

So would you rather have your idea come into reality and not be perfect, but it’s done, or have a perfect product or whatever it is you’re creating, that actually never comes into existence, because you’re trying to wait until it’s perfect.

I think it’s better for you to bring out your idea, your product, your cause whatever it is, bring it into the world so that it can help people. And I assure you those people won’t mind that it’s not perfect.

And they probably won’t even notice the imperfections like you do.

But it can still help them even if it’s not as perfect as you want it to be. But if you’re sitting on that idea, and you’re not releasing it, because it’s not perfect, and you’re waiting for the perfect moment, they’ll never get that help and that value that you have to provide.

So really, even bringing out an imperfect version is helping people more in the world than if you are trying to wait to bring it out to them until it’s perfect.

And finally, I just want to say again that if you’re running a business, remember that you are in charge and you can always change things later. So practice and don’t be afraid to bring out version 1.0.

And if you need to change it later, you can at any time you can always grow and improve as you go.

And if you need help with this or a bit of accountability to spare you along, please reach out and we can talk about either one-on-one coaching to help you grow an amazing business and an unstoppable mindset.

Or you can have a look through Look at our free resources and content in the community hub.

And please leave a comment below and I’ll see you in the next post.