A Short Guide to Taming Your Inner Perfectionist

We all want our work to be flawless. But when that desire is taken too far, perfectionism can take over your life and keep you from accomplishing much at all. By definition, perfection is often impossible. To avoid that fate, try these tips:

Monitor the big picture. Stop trying to plan for everything and obsessing over details in your drive toward success. Handle issues as they arise and make decisions based on current information; don’t paralyze yourself worrying about things that may not happen.

Set deadlines and stick to them. Do the best job you can within your time budget. If you finish a task before a deadline, you can go back and make it 100 percent perfect; if not, move on!

Don’t fret about past mistakes. Sure, you’ve made mistakes in the past, but don’t let that stop you from proceeding boldly—and don’t worry about what might go wrong later. Do your work the best you can, without agonizing over the possibilities or comparing yourself to others.

Stop waiting for the perfect time. When is the best time to get started? If you’re stressing about it, now is the perfect time. Just start. Even completing a small piece of a project can give you the momentum to keep going.

Rather than let the demon of perfectionism straitjacket you, leap into action! Tackle your work one issue at a time.

Do you let worry take over your days? Release yourself from the idea of perfection—start your day stress-free with four simple tips.

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