In the business world, it’s easy to find perfectionists. Are you one? Perfectionism can help us have a critical eye, keep us driven and motivated to work harder, but if you end up changing direction again and again, questioning your choices, or stressing about small details, perfectionism will be more of a hindrance then a help. Many negative things can stem from this, the most prominent being wasted resources of both time and money. At the end of the day the outcome doesn’t generally justify the effort. Here are some suggestions to liberate yourself from the net of perfectionism when you find yourself ensnared.
Make a Decision and Stick to it
When you decide on a direction to take and announce it to your employees, stick to it. One of the traps of perfectionism is wasted time second-guessing yourself. If you are constantly changing gears after your team has begun the project, then you have wasted those recourses. You will never know if your third, fourth, or fifth decision would be any better. As the saying goes, go with your gut!
Trus t your Employees
Listen to the input from your employees once you have unveiled your plan. They are great resources and will let you know what is possible. If they like the plan then it’s probably worth using. Their support will help prevent you from sliding into the second-guessing game that I previously talked about. Another way to prevent wasted time is not to micromanage your workforce. Once you have assigned tasks, take a step back and let them manage those tasks. You hired them for their competence in the first place, right? And before you execute your plan …
Have a Plan B
Sometimes things get fouled up, so be prepared with a backup plan. This will not only keep you from panicking, but will keep you mentally flexible for change. Flexibility is a great trait to have in business because things always change. You can’t plan everything perfectly, so stretch that part of yourself by having a plan to fall back on.
There is a fine line between perfectionism and having a critical eye. It’s important to always shoot for the best, but obsessing about getting something perfect is harmful to the project and your mental health. The steps I’ve outlined above will help you to free yourself from the perfectionist mindset, if you find yourself there. Here is a great article about avoiding the pitfalls of perfectionism completely.