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Advice
|28 Sep|5 mins

Career Hack: Why You Need To Let Go Of Perfectionism Right Now

Taking care of business – made eas(ier).
Elle Glass
28 Sep
Share:

How many times have you spent far too long on something? How many times have you pushed that deadline out further than you ever thought possible just because you weren’t quite ready to let the task at hand go? If you love something, we’re told, you should set it free. But what if you’re not ready to let go?

“At some point, you really have to put the kid on the school bus and send him out into the world, ready or not.”

These are the words of Elizabeth Gilbert – author of Eat, Pray, Love (which you’ve read) and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (which you should have read) – and there’s something in them for all of us who knows what happens when we hold onto work tasks for too long.

Done, Gilbert tells us, is better than good.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of Lean In: Woman, Work, and the Will to Succeed, says:

“Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.”

Ideas, Gilbert argues, are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.

And who is holding you back from getting your good work across the line / into the world? Nine times out of ten, the money is on you.

Writes Gilbert:

“I’ve watched far too many brilliant and gifted female creators say, ‘I am 99.8 percent qualified for this task, but until I master that last smidgen of ability, I will hold myself back, just to be on the safe side.’ Now, I cannot imagine where women ever got the idea that they must be perfect in order to be loved or successful. (Ha ha ha! Just kidding! I can totally imagine: We got it from every single message society has ever sent us! Thanks, all of human history!) But we women must break this habit in ourselves ... And we are the only ones who can break it. We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it. (There are people out there who still consider Beethoven’s symphonies a little bit too, you know, loud.) At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is – if only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart. Which is the entire point. Or should be.”

Advice
|28 Sep|5 mins

Career Hack: Why You Need To Let Go Of Perfectionism Right Now

Taking care of business – made eas(ier).
Elle Glass
28 Sep
Share:

How many times have you spent far too long on something? How many times have you pushed that deadline out further than you ever thought possible just because you weren’t quite ready to let the task at hand go? If you love something, we’re told, you should set it free. But what if you’re not ready to let go?

“At some point, you really have to put the kid on the school bus and send him out into the world, ready or not.”

These are the words of Elizabeth Gilbert – author of Eat, Pray, Love (which you’ve read) and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (which you should have read) – and there’s something in them for all of us who knows what happens when we hold onto work tasks for too long.

Done, Gilbert tells us, is better than good.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of Lean In: Woman, Work, and the Will to Succeed, says:

“Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.”

Ideas, Gilbert argues, are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.

And who is holding you back from getting your good work across the line / into the world? Nine times out of ten, the money is on you.

Writes Gilbert:

“I’ve watched far too many brilliant and gifted female creators say, ‘I am 99.8 percent qualified for this task, but until I master that last smidgen of ability, I will hold myself back, just to be on the safe side.’ Now, I cannot imagine where women ever got the idea that they must be perfect in order to be loved or successful. (Ha ha ha! Just kidding! I can totally imagine: We got it from every single message society has ever sent us! Thanks, all of human history!) But we women must break this habit in ourselves ... And we are the only ones who can break it. We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it. (There are people out there who still consider Beethoven’s symphonies a little bit too, you know, loud.) At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is – if only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart. Which is the entire point. Or should be.”

So, how to stay on track?

Set yourself a time limit
And stick to it. Pomodoro method is a great one. Get a timer and work in a set amount of 20-minute blocks.

Plan your work flow by priorities
What needs to be done by when?

Know your rabbit holes
… Where do you get lost chasing perfection? Know the warning signs and then act against them.

Be accountable. Deliver when you say you will deliver … Or better still, sooner.

And for those of you not quite ready to forge ahead? “Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them,” says Gilbert.

Elle Glass
Writer
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