Think every project you work on has wrapped up perfectly in a neat little bow? Think again! Sure, you’re a CEO and you can obviously produce stellar results, but you’re also human. If you’re constantly battling your inner perfectionist, you’re killing your productivity. Follow these three tips to win the battle against your “perfect” mindset and make your business more productive and profitable.
1. Stop Overanalyzing and Obsessing Over Small Details
Have you ever been so caught up on a small detail in a large-scale project that it’s been a huge set back? Or, if you’re like me, maybe you review a client email ten times just to make sure everything is “perfect” before you hit “send.”
Do these scenarios sound familiar? If so, it’s time to train yourself to stop complicating smaller details that won’t affect your overall goal. And in the event that you do actually make a mistake (oh, the horror!), you will know what to avoid next time. Like it or not, mistakes help us learn and grow professionally.
2. Assign Your Tasks an ETC
If you’re making sure everything is perfect, you’re likely wasting time. Creating a to-do list with prioritized tasks along with corresponding estimated times of completion (ETCs) can help you stay on track.
Let’s use your next internal memo about continuing education through accredited online colleges to your management team as an example. Set a reasonable time in which you should research the colleges and programs, write the content, edit the draft and finalize the copy. Implement this system for each of your tasks and projects. Then put the task on your to-do list and try to stick to your ETC. You’ll find that having a deadline will help you clear your mind and get things done a lot quicker and with less hesitation.
Of course there are probably always smaller tasks peppered throughout your day. As a general rule of thumb, if a task will take less than 2 minutes to finish, get it done ASAP! In the time it takes to think about and organize a small task, you can complete it and check it off your list. Tackling these smaller tasks when you have a few free minutes will help you take a break from larger daunting tasks, returning to more important items with a fresher, more focused mind.
3. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others
There’s a difference between being aware of competitor activities and constantly comparing yourself to other CEOs, management and maybe even members of your own team. Get comfortable with yourself. You’ve made it this far, so you’ve obviously got something special, right?
Start focusing on what you think is right, not on what other people are doing. Aiming to meet your own expectations will help you combat negative thoughts and perfectionist tendencies. If you notice someone is doing something better, use it as motivation and a learning experience – not as a hindrance to your output.
Start implementing these tips throughout your work day and you’ll find that your inner perfectionist’s pesky voice gets quieter and quieter over time.
If you’ve been fighting the battle against perfectionism in the workplace, what tips and tools have worked for you?
Adrienne Erin is a young self-employed designer and freelance writer who has battled with her inner perfectionist many times. She’s always trying to learn new ways to be happier and more productive. If you want to see her current projects, you can follow her on Twitter at @adrienneerin.
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