Perfectionism can become your but enemy, because trying to do things perfect is not always synonymous with progress. Many times we get stuck in perfectionism and, finishing our task, it becomes a tedious, tedious and very slow process.
On the other hand, doing your tasks well enough drives you, generates greater personal satisfaction and also gives you an extra dose of motivation. A combination that you surely want to have in your routine.
In this short article I have a quick 3-step formula to measure the quality of your work and the time invested, and in this way find the best professional and personal balance.
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They say that the monkey is so intelligent that he does not speak so that they do not make him work (it seems that he values his time) -Rene Descartes
Imagine you have dinner at your boss’s house.
Everyone will bring something to eat, and of course, you don’t want to make a fool of yourself, but the problem is, you can’t cook!
How would you solve this problem?
- A) Buy ready-made food
- B) Prepare something simple like a salad
- C) Dust off grandma’s cookbook and “cook” something spectacular
Of course, answers A and B are the best options, right?… They require less time and you get a good enough result.
On the other hand, trying to learn to cook “grandmother level” and doing your best to bring a perfect dish can have negative consequences:
- Generates stress
- You are not spending your time wisely
- You are not realistic with your expectations
- Your dish is likely to flop and burn in the oven.
And it is normal for all that to happen when we try to achieve perfect results.
I am no exception, I consider myself a perfectionist, I push myself to make the most of my ability to obtain the best results, but, over time, I have understood that many times the most important thing is simply to move forward .
For example, the first articles in Habitually Honestly are not very well written and have a lot of misspellings. But you know what? does not matter!
The goal to improve in almost everything in this life is: take action, do the best you can, but above all, do not get stuck in perfectionism.
Let’s be honest if your expectations around your results are extremely high, it will be difficult to meet them.
You will probably have to invest more of your valuable time and yet there is still the possibility that you will not achieve what you expected, which undermines your self-esteem and confidence in yourself.
What you want on a personal level and especially when it comes to productivity is to move forward .
We all want to spend less time and achieve quality results (even if they are not perfect results).
Repeat with me: I want to move forward, invest my time wisely and not get stuck in perfectionism.
“Acute perfectionitis” is the enemy of your productivity.
None of us are immune, we can all slip into perfectionism from time to time.
Be careful: this does not mean that we must become mediocre with our effort or not aspire to have excellent results.
This simply means that you should strive without lowering your personal standards, but above all, invest your time wisely to achieve good enough results, results that have room to continue to improve over time.
You have to learn to be realistic and say to yourself: “ok, that’s good enough, now what’s next.”
I found this example of some artists who honestly drew really bad at first, but after a while the results are impressive.
They did not aspire to be perfect from the start, but instead focused on having room to improve.
But then why do we get stuck in perfectionism? and what happens when this happens? …
Here are the causes of perfectionism and the consequences of being a perfectionist:
If you look at the last point it says “Repercussions on your health”, because being a perfectionist triggers stress, anguish and anxiety , which together has been related to:
- Eating disorders
- Heart diseases
- Digestive diseases
What’s even worse, according to a Canadian study 6 perfectionism can also shorten years of your life!
I don’t want any of the above in my routine and I’m sure you don’t either.
Therefore, below you will find a formula to intelligently invest your time and objectively combat perfectionism.
The formula to invest your time wisely when doing your homework.
The goal of this formula is to objectively measure whether you have a healthy balance between the investment of your time and the quality of your results.
When completing any task, follow these steps:
Step 1: Rate the quality of your results from 1 to 10
Rate from 1 to 10 the quality of your results (10 is excellent, 1 is very low quality) , write the rating so you don’t forget.
This step is important because the goal is not to get stuck in perfectionism and to be objective with your own expectations. But for that, you have to be honest with your rating.
Step 2: Rate from 1 to 10 the time invested in that task
Rate from 1 to 10 the time it took you to finish that task (10 is too little time, 1 is too long), write your rating.
Did you take more time than expected? So your rating will be below 5
Did you manage to be efficient and finished less than planned? So your rating will be above 5
Step 3: Multiply both grades, the number you get will be your final evaluation.
For example: If I got 6 for quality and 3 for time, then my final evaluation is 18 (3 x 6 = 18)
The quality of my results x The time invested = Final evaluation
What does my final evaluation mean?
To achieve a good balance between the time invested and the quality of your results, the number you obtain in your final evaluation must be above 50 and below 90 .
I give you some examples to explain why:
- If you have an evaluation of 25: your time was not very efficient, you invested time (5 x 5) but you achieved average results and not good enough, which gives you room to improve.
- If you have an evaluation of 64: it means that you took the time necessary to do your homework (8x 8) and get the results good enough, that is progress!
- If you have an evaluation of 56 :
- You invested less time (7 x 8) but you achieved very good results so at good time!
- You invested more time (8 x 7) to achieve average results, it is fine because you did not fall into perfectionism but, it gives you the opportunity to be more efficient with your time the next time.
- If you have an evaluation of 100: the quality of your results were excellent and the time invested was very little (10 x 10) which is good news if it is a task that you already master (or you simply exaggerated when evaluating yourself)
Remember that to achieve a good balance, your final evaluation has to be more than 50 and less than 90
The objective is NOT to have the best qualification of both parameters (time and quality), since the above could fall into perfectionism.
Your goal is to find a balance, invest your smart time, get good enough results, and not get stuck in perfectionism.
You may find that this formula facilitates the way you measure your results, helps you escape perfectionism, and most importantly gives you the opportunity to better invest your time.
The best formula to combat perfectionism …
Why is it important to invest your time wisely?
We all know the answer, because your time is a valuable and limited resource.
No matter what you do, we all have the same amount of hours each day and our goal is to invest it wisely (not waste it) and get the most out of it, right?
The good news is that now you know an objective way to measure your results and the time invested to avoid falling into perfectionism.
Reading this article took you a maximum of 10 minutes. Was it worth the investment? What did you learn?… See you in the comments below.
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