Regarding getting things done, perfectionism and procrastination are two habits that can often hinder success. Perfectionism can lead to procrastination, and procrastination can lead to perfectionism — forming an endless loop that can be hard to break.
This cycle can be incredibly challenging for entrepreneurs and professionals juggling multiple projects and tasks. To stay productive, it’s important to identify and break this loop. In this blog post, we will explore how to do just that.
We’ll look at the common causes of perfectionism and procrastination, how the two habits feed off of each other, and practical strategies you can use to overcome both.
1. Identify Perfectionist Tendencies
The first step to breaking the perfectionism-procrastination loop is identifying your perfectionist tendencies. Many of us may only realize the extent of our perfectionist tendencies once we look at ourselves and our behaviors.
Ask yourself questions like: Do I over-prepare for tasks? Do I spend too much time and energy on small details? Do I take on more than I can realistically accomplish? Do I avoid trying new things because I’m afraid I won’t do them perfectly?
Answering these questions and recognizing your tendencies is the first step to taking control of the loop and becoming more relaxed and productive.
2. Break Tasks into Smaller Steps
Breaking tasks into smaller steps is a great way to break the perfectionism-procrastination loop. Breaking a task into smaller steps makes it less intimidating and easier to accomplish.
This can help reduce the fear of failure or fear of success. Additionally, breaking tasks into smaller steps allows you to focus and progress on your task one step at a time.
This can help avoid being overwhelmed and make the task more manageable. Breaking tasks into smaller steps can help you to stay organized, focused, and motivated to complete the task.
3. Celebrate Small Accomplishments
Celebrating small accomplishments is key when it comes to breaking the perfectionism-procrastination loop. Perfectionists often have unrealistic expectations of themselves, making even small successes seem trivial.
However, it’s important to acknowledge and reward yourself for every accomplishment, no matter how small. Celebrate your successes – even just completing a task or making a phone call – to motivate yourself and keep moving forward.
Doing so will help you stay on track and remind yourself that you can achieve your goals.
4. Don’t Focus On Perfection
Perfectionism can be an enemy of progress. It can cause us to be stuck in a loop of self-criticism, procrastination, and anxiety. To break this loop, it’s important to remember that perfection isn’t the goal. It’s far more important to focus on progress and improvement.
Don’t get stuck in a loop of trying to make something perfect before you start. Instead, set realistic goals and focus on meeting them.
If you make mistakes, don’t dwell on them—learn from them and move on. By embracing imperfection and celebrating small victories, you can break the perfectionism-procrastination loop and make real progress.
5. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
One of the most dangerous things you can do when trying to break the perfectionism-procrastination loop is to compare yourself to others. This sets unrealistic expectations and damages your self-esteem since it’s easy to focus on what others have that you don’t.
Constantly comparing yourself to those around you will only make breaking out of the loop more difficult. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on doing your best with your skills, interests, and abilities. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small, and celebrate the successes of those around you.
Learning to break the perfectionism-procrastination loop is an important step toward leading a more productive and balanced life. By acknowledging and addressing the underlying causes of perfectionism and procrastination, you can develop strategies to tackle the cycle of fear and self-doubt.
You can learn to accept imperfection and move forward with your goals with the right techniques.