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Let go of perfect and get more done!

Are you a perfectionist? This post is all about trying to aim for perfect and how this can work against you in your life if you’re not careful. As a “recovering perfectionist” myself this is something very close to my heart, so I hope that if this rings true for you, these words help you to get more done and stop beating yourself up. 

Letting go of perfect really does help you get more done - find out more here...

It may be an odd thing to say here, but many people with lots of clutter and unfinished projects in their lives are perfectionists.

You would assume that being a perfectionist means that you are always in control of things, with nothing out of place and everything running smoothly, but this is usually far from reality.

Being a perfectionist brings with it a whole host of issues, not least of which being that it can lead to a great deal of procrastination, resulting in decision paralysis and things actually never getting done.

After all – if you will only start something that you can complete perfectly – how much would you start?

The fear of failing is all consuming, and it’s often easier to not start something at all.

Perfectionists tend to be very stressed, they are usually always trying to do the very best in every situation, large or small, or they aren’t letting themselves start things for fear of not doing them perfectly – and this can be exhausting to say the least.

So today I wanted to address this, and say that actually being LESS than perfect is what we all should be aiming for so that life is less stressful and we can get more done.

organise my house

 

Let me ask you a question – what is perfect?

It’s a really hard question to answer for pretty much anything and because of this it’s of course near impossible therefore to ever achieve perfect.

And what a horrible way to live – to always be afraid of starting something in case you can’t get it done to perfection….

We are filled with images in the media of what people think of as perfect – but everyone has their own lives, their own hurdles, their own stories, and because we are all so different then perfect is also different for everyone, and is pretty impossible to achieve.

What is the “perfect” life?, what is the “perfect meal”?, what is the “perfect” way of decorating your home?…… we can so often feel like we don’t match up when we try and reach for that elusive PERFECT.

It can be debilitating to say the least.

organise my house

Is it good enough?

So, instead of asking yourself whether something is perfect, I would like you to think about whether it’s good enough instead.

If you are happy and what you are doing works, then why not take less time to achieve good enough, and get it started AND finished, rather than spending forever pursuing the unreachable goal of perfection?

It’s a difficult habit for most people to get into, but realising that good enough, IS good enough, is liberating to say the least.

Let me tell you a story as an example:-

I started to create photo year books for our family a few years ago. They are a great way to remember years gone by and take up very little room compared to keeping all the photos and memorabilia somewhere.

However, my perfectionist habits kicked in in the first year I created one and I was filled with thoughts of “what if I miss something out?”, “what if there isn’t a photo of person x and they see the book?”, “what if……..?”

I drove myself a little insane, and then I took a step back.

I saw that the bigger picture was that I had collected as much as I could over the year, and all the little things I missed (which of course there would be some) would not be the important things and wouldn’t matter in years to come.

What mattered more than getting things absolutely perfect was that we had this amazing treasury of memories that we would be able to keep for years to come, and pass on to our daughter etc…. 

We now have about 5 yearbooks in our bookcase that we often look at – and they are so very special.

Yes, I may have forgotten things, yes, there may be things that I would love to have put in them had there been a photo taken at a specific event etc…, but overall they make us happy and make us smile – and that’s the main thing.

If I had waited until I had absolutely everything, until we had perfect photos of every occasion, and a copy of everything we did that year, then we most definitely wouldn’t have any photo books now to look at – and that would be such a waste….

organise my house

It’s the same with so many projects, whether it be getting organised, getting fit, eating better, starting a business, having a baby or anything else life throws our way.

If we wait for perfect conditions, they may never come – we may never be open to fantastic opportunities, and we may find ourselves living in a world that doesn’t reflect who we really are.

Just getting things done to “good enough” is a freeing way of living – so why not try it today?

Take away striving for impossible perfection and realise that perfect is whatever you can do at any given time.

organise my house

Get more done

The bonus of living this way is that you immediately start to achieve more. If you aren’t afraid of starting things and doing them to a good enough standard, then things start to get done.

You may start to have more people round to the house as you are cleaning it to a good enough standard rather than beating yourself up for not getting it looking like homes do in the magazines – or you may have friends for dinner and not cook from scratch which would for you be the ideal way of cooking (it’s the socialising that really counts…).

organise my house

 

Let go of perfect and get more done

 

Whatever you are putting off because you want to do it perfectly – stop – take a step back and realise that good enough really can be good enough after all – and its worth doing things to that good enough standard if you can get more done and live life more fully.

Life isn’t perfect – so you shouldn’t try and be…..

Give yourself a break – it really is worth it!

 

 

 

Are you a perfectionist? Do you find it hard to start things as a result? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below….

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8 Responses to Let go of perfect and get more done!

  1. Connie May 1, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    This is a great article. I have had this problem for many years but probably not recognised it as perfectionism. I am the queen of unfinished projects because i start something and then think, ‘no, it’s not quite right, it needs more this or that…’ It has to be perfect or I won’t be happy or, even worse, the person I’m doing it for won’t be happy, and so lots of things never get finished. Some things never get started because I’m waiting for perfect conditions or circumstances before I start and something always gets in the way…sigh! I get very stressed when I get behind with things so this article has been like a breath of fresh air for me. I will try to be more accepting of ‘good enough’ and perhaps get more done. Thank you so much!

    • Chrissy Halton May 5, 2015 at 10:03 pm #

      Connie – my pleasure! – It has taken me many years to work this out myself as I am a perfectionist at heart, but it really is amazing how much you can get done when you tell yourself that good enough really is good enough!

  2. Fern Apr 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    I came across this article as I was browsing for a low fat diet plan…needless to say, it sounds just like me! I have moments of madness (I had an episode last night) whereby I sit down, look around me and think about everything that I’m failing at and just cry! My house constantly feels a mess (we have 2 children and I look after other children during the day), I struggle to keep on top of finances, laundry, food shopping, paperwork, cleaning etc and feel I am constantly starting something, hoping it will make me feel better about not completing the other things, thinking this new project will make all the difference because I’ll actually achieve something. In reality it is just adding to the list of things that I feel I need to do perfectly and it sounds silly but as a result. nothing is getting done, let alone perfectly. Especially when it comes to children…by the time I’ve finished fussing over cleaning the french doors, they’re filthy again! Maybe I should just accept that sometimes the french doors can have just a quick wipe over and that will be fine?
    Anyway, I’m pleased I came across this article as it has highlighted a few things for me. Hopefully now I can bring myself to just do something and get on with it instead of worrying about not doing it right xx

    • Chrissy Halton Apr 16, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      Hi Fern – really glad that this article helped – it really is all too easy to get bogged down in aiming for perfection so it’s nice to sit back and realise how much you’ve done that’s great!

  3. June Apr 13, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    Thanks for posting this – it absolutely could not have come at a better time! X

    • Chrissy Halton Apr 16, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

      Hi June – this article really does seem to have hit a cord and I’m really pleased it was the right time for you x

  4. Susan Apr 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Great post. Perfectionism is something that I have struggled with my whole life but it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I even began to realize that was one of my major weaknesses/strengths.
    But even once I figured it out, it still crushes my productivity to this day and I’m now 58. My amazing attention to detail is what makes what I do finish so great but life would be so much better, less cluttered and well, finished if I could push past to the world of “good enough” . . . . I know my husband (the minimalist!) would certainly appreciate and wouldn’t have all these wonderful ideas just stuck in my head. I am going to start working on thinking this way.
    Once again, great post and thanks for being a like-minded person who got to the point where she could put her thoughts into actions and get them out into the world.

    • Chrissy Halton Apr 16, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

      Hi Susan – thanks so much for your comments – this post really has hit home to people and I’m pleased that it is helping x

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