Let go of Perfection and Get More Done!

Published on December 16, 2011 by Anne Raymond

I had a meeting last week with a client who is a classic high-achiever delivering amazing results all the time but burning-beyond-the-midnight-oil to get everything done.  This might work in the short term with a big critical deliverable but just isn’t sustainable in the long run! Not good for the individual and not good for the company

One strategy we discussed is to look at everything you do and to NOT treat them equally. This is really difficult for the perfectionist in us!  Imagine the suggestion of not doing you best job all the time in everything you do?

Can you relate?  I know I can.

I used to do all my own work – every item “T’s crossed, I’s dotted”!  I had very high standards, was a great team player, and responded to everyone’s request.  I think it was a mixture of taking on the responsibility where others couldn’t or wouldn’t, the fear of failure, and a little people-pleaser in me not willing to let anyone down!  Sound familiar?

You don’t need to be perfect in everything you do.  You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule where 20% of the action produces 80% of the results.  What if you applied that to every project that you do?  Would you be better off getting 80% of the results of every MAJOR thing you do with less effort?  Or burning yourself out by going that extra distance?

Here is my new mantra to put things in perspective and guide me in this area:

“Be excellent where excellence is required.
And be good, when good is good enough!"

Think about it and use these 3 tips to get what you need to get done and get the results and success you want and deserve!

1)    Set LIMITS

One of the biggest complaints I hear from busy professionals is that they don’t have enough time.  So put a limit on how much time you’ll spend on an email (or all of them), a task, or even a bigger project.  It will apply a little more pressure and propel you into action and make hard calls on what’s important and what’s not.

2)    LOWER (or RAISE) your STANDARDS

In some areas, you may have to lower your standards on what you’re willing to do and the amount of detail that you agree to complete.  Start with the easy stuff like around the house and be willing to relax and not be “perfect” at every turn!  Then take a look at everything you do at work!  Question why you do things and lower your standards.

In other areas you may want to consider RAISING your standards.  A great example is taking care of your personal health which often gets left on the backburner for many when things get crazy!

3)    Choose To Be REACTIVE Or PROACTIVE

Be “choosy” on what you are PROACTIVE on.  Pick your most important priorities and make sure you are driving them to get the results you want.  In other areas, choose to be REACTIVE.  Slow down your response time, let others step up, be brief in your input, and limit your involvement!  You may just find that you may have not been needed after all.

Good luck with changing the way you work and live!  Try out these tips and let me know how they go!

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