Being a perfectionist: is it good for business?

Are you the perfectionist type? Do you spend a lot of time “perfecting” your work, so everything comes out just the way you want it?

Perfectionists are people who are dedicated to excellence and have a very high regard for being faultless and successful in everything. Yet, there is a hidden flip side to being perfectionists that we may not be aware of.

Perfectionism at its extreme prevents you from being perfect.

Here are the reasons why this is so:

  • You become less efficient and effective because when you’re done with a task, you fail to move on, but linger on to find new things to improve on. This lingering process usually ranges from a measly 10 minute waste of time to a whopping 30 minutes to an hour or even more. You spend way more time looking for the mistakes and imperfections rather than spend time on the actual task.
  • You procrastinate for the perfect moment. You desire to perfect everything makes you unconsciously overcomplicate a project. What’s actually a simple task may get blown out of proportion to the extent that it becomes intimidating. This makes us procrastinate on it, waiting for the “perfect” moment before we get to it. This “perfect” moment never actually strikes. You’d be waiting forever.
  • You won’t see the big picture because you’re too hung up over the details. You tend to forget about the bigger picture and the goal that you have to achieve. You’ll be too focused on

Like I said, if cultivated the right way, perfectionism will actually work for you. The answer isn’t to stop being a perfectionist. It’s to be conscious of our perfectionist tendencies and manage them accordingly. We want to be healthy perfectionists who are truly achieving personal excellence.

How do you become a healthy perfectionist?

  • Always be conscious of the big picture.

I’m sure something in you starts to make you uneasy whenever setbacks come or things don’t go as you planned. But this is just a natural reaction of the perfectionist in you. Catch yourself when this happens. Stop and think. These problems are there not just because they popped out from nowhere. Everything is a chain of events. Look at it at a different angle. Step back and take a look at how other parts of the project affect and are affected by the problem.

  • You’re not as perfect as you may think.

Even if you are a perfectionist, you are not perfect. Everybody commits mistakes. You should embrace this part of being human. There’s nothing wrong about making mistakes. As long as you’re willing to take responsibility for them and correct them as soon as possible.

Your thoughts

What about you? Are the type of person who wants everything to be as perfect and as excellent as you want them to be? How is this personality trait giving you any benefits? What are the downside to it? What would you like to add to the things we discussed?

Let us all know in the comments!

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About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →