perfectionism vs productivity

Perfectionism vs productivity

Ahh perfectionism. A great way to procrastinate and an excellent way for self-doubt to manifest. How many times have you had a big, exciting or downright terrifying project ready to launch into the world but you keep holding back because it isn’t quite perfect?

Or maybe you’ve had a great idea for something, but you can’t start it until you’ve done all the research and spent all your money on courses?

There is something to be said for good quality, and it doesn’t hurt to take time and care over the projects you’re working on, but perfectionism can so easily get in the way of productivity and can hold you back.

There’s that saying, ‘done is better than perfect’ and this is a mantra I say to myself all the time – if I didn’t, half the blogs on here probably wouldn’t have been published.

_DSF9811 - Kat Nicholls

Photography | Elle Narbrook

What I think is also interesting is that a lot of us are actually steering away from perfect content. The growing interest and engagement in Instagram stories is proof of this. We want authenticity, realness, honesty. We don’t care if it’s a little rough around the edges – if the message is coming from the heart, we want to hear it.

Often we’ll give a huge amount of importance to something that, really, *whispers* isn’t that important. We’ll agonise over an Instagram post being not ‘perfect’, post it and realise people love it anyway (or they don’t see it cos, you know, algorithm).

We might compare ourselves to others, feel less than and stop ourselves showing the world what we’ve got. If you feel like perfectionism is holding you back, here are some ideas to try.

Look at the big picture

Really think about it. How much importance does this hold in the grand scheme of things?

Do something – anything

Help yourself break out of your perfectionist standards by challenging yourself to do something less than perfect and share it.

Do it for the process

Try and avoid putting too much emphasis on the end product and enjoy the making of it.


Share the process

Sometimes talking about how something came together is more compelling than the end result! I know I’m not the only one who loves seeing behind the scenes posts on Instagram stories?

Be realistic with your goals

Sometimes our perfectionist tendencies come up because we’re terrified of a big task. Break it down into smaller chunks to help alleviate some of that fear.

Stop comparing yourself!

You know nothing good will come from it, so just, you know, stop it.

Sas Petherick’s first episode of Courage & Spice talks about perfectionism (and the other four Ps of self-doubt) so I would encourage you to listen to that if you haven’t already. There’s also a fab TED talk here on perfectionism.

Do you struggle with perfectionism? What helps you move from perfectionism to productive?

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Perfectionism vs productivity

4 thoughts on “Perfectionism vs productivity

  1. isabellahume says:

    I love it! I actually have “done is better than perfect and not done” taped to my desk to remind me of this.

    Also “is anyone going to die?” – and if the answer is no then I know that it isn’t as critical as my mind is making it out to be!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Erika @ Just Letter-Perfect says:

    When I started my blog and proofreading website in February, I spent a solid month working on it before I dared to publish. To be fair it was all completely new to me, so it was a lot to learn, but boy oh boy did I spend a lot of agonizing over every little thing just to have me completely redo most of it a few months later…

    I do want my blog posts to be great, and I spend a lot of time on making graphics and so on, but I have definitely learned that it doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. I can always go in and adjust things if need be, and like you say, people want to see the real person with all her mistakes and realness 🙂 (Although for me, as a proofreader, I feel great pressure — mostly from myself — that not a single typo can possibly be allowed. 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • bluejayofhappiness says:

      Oh man, I can imagine as a proof reader the pressure must be on a little huh! It’s a fine balance between taking pride in something and being so scared of imperfection you stop sharing, glad to hear you’ve learnt it doesn’t have to be 100% perfect!


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