Have You Been Bitten by the Bug of Perfectionism?

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Thursday, November 14, 2019

Have You Been Bitten by the Bug of Perfectionism?

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Thursday, November 14, 2019

Ever find yourself reading and rereading a document to make sure it’s perfect (even if it’s just a memo going out to the members of your department)? Or do you drive your research and development team crazy because you’re just never satisfied with the product features they come up with? Maybe the thing that bothers you is that the shade of blue on the walls is slightly different from what you wanted. Or maybe one of your clients puts their coffee cup down on your desk without a coaster, and it’s just driving you nuts! If any of these describes you, you have been bitten by the bug of perfectionism.

Does Perfectionism Make Things Better or Worse?

Wanting things to be perfect is not always a bad thing. There are times when you keep trying to make something perfect and the final result is really great. But there are also times when you keep trying to make something perfect and the final result is not so great. In fact, there are times when you can make a thing worse by being a perfectionist.

When Perfectionism Pays Off and When It Doesn’t

Let’s assume that you’re writing a report. You might come up with one draft of the report which is perfectly fine. But you tell yourself it is not so good and you keep rewriting it bit by bit until the final result looks like it’s been patched together haphazardly. In this case, it would have been better to use the first report. But in certain other cases, perfectionism can pay off, such as when you’re trying to come up with something innovative and you keep brainstorming until you come up with a great idea.

When to Try to Be Perfect and When to Let Go

So how do you know when to be a perfectionist and when not to? First of all, remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Each letter, memo, report, email or text does not have to be perfectly worded. Each social media post doesn’t have to be a work of art or literature. But you need perfectionism when it comes to maintaining your accounts because finances are important. And yes, if you’re getting a big account, then by all means make sure that things go perfectly with your new client.

There are certain cases, however, when you just have to let go. For example, that coffee ring on your desk is just not worth worrying about!