Perfectionism can be a Major Time Waster!
There's a saying that, "If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well." This is emphatically not true! One of my favorite sayings is this:
"Some things require completion, not perfection."
Perfectionism can stymie us in many ways. Often it prevents people from doing a thing at all. They feel so much anxiety about whether they'll be able to do it perfectly, or feel so overwhelmed with the enormity of trying to do it perfectly, that they're unable to even get started.
Perfectionism can have another, more insidious effect as well. It can lead us to spend more time on a task than it warrants. In my previous article, I talked about how some things on our to-do list are simply not things we should spend time doing. Other times, a thing is worth doing, but not worth spending a lot of time on.
Let's say you need to rake leaves or shovel the porch or vacuum the living room. How perfectly do you need to do these tasks? Is it worth spending an extra two hours to get every leaf off your driveway? I don't think so! They'll just blow back anyway.
I've sometimes caught myself spending an absurd amount of time writing articles, emails or forum posts. Hello! There is a point of diminishing returns. After a certain point, the improvement is so small that it just doesn't matter. Let it go!
As you do the tasks on your to-do list, try to stay aware of the balance between how important the task is and how much time you're spending on it. If you devote time to each item in proportion to its importance, you will discover many extra hours in your day!