How to Manage Your Perfectionism
Perfectionism can motivate decision-makers to perform at high levels and deliver top-quality leadership. But it can also cause unnecessary anxiety, and actually slow down decision-making and, ultimately, results. "A lot of perfectionistic tendencies are rooted in fear and insecurity," states Matt Plummer, founder of Zarvana, a web-based coaching service that helps people be more productive. As a result, they cling to their perfectionism even when it's counterproductive. For those looking to manage their perfectionism, it might be necessary to "calibrate your standards," advises Plummer. Don't make the pursuit of perfection akin to wandering on an aimless journey. Creating checklists for the various tasks at hand can get one properly focused.

At the same time, many perfectionists have a proclivity to repetitively mull over a challenge or problem without ever coming to a resolution. Such ruminating is unhealthy and unproductive. Instead, look for ways to disrupt this vicious cycle. This entails identifying triggers, determining patterns of thought and behavior, and taking action. This includes seeking a diversion or distraction that does not induce anxiety, thinking positive, or talking to someone else who has dealt with similar tendencies.
Finally, have mechanisms and systems in place to monitor your progress. Undertaking a "weekly review" in which you reflect on your progress is one idea. "Remember," the article's author Rebecca Knight concludes, "you're not fundamentally 'changing course.' Rather, you are 'redirecting your personality.'"
Harvard Business Review (04/29/19) Knight, Rebecca
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