Today, I have a super inspiring guest post from an amazing and inspiring gal, Monja Meyer, blogger and perfectionism coach over at SüssLife.
Monja is going all-in on everything productivity and perfectionism.
I hope you’ll enjoy this guest post as much as I did.
Don’t forget to subscribe to Monja’s awesome podcast, The Sweet Life Project – a gold mine for everything mindset and perfectionism.
- 14 Time Management Tips That Really Work
- 8 Signs You’re A Perfectionist
- Things To Do In The Morning To Be More Productive
How To Be More Productive As A Perfectionist
Learn how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to change that.
If you’re reading this now you may think: Great, I could use some productivity tips but I’m no perfectionist.
Maybe you even think: I’m not perfect enough to be a perfectionist.
Well, if that’s your thought process then you’re definitely a perfectionist.
What Is Perfectionism?
When it comes to perfectionism there is a lot of misconception out there.
I only realized this year that I’m a perfectionist.
It was the biggest AHA moment I’d ever had since starting my personal development work.
I was like: Wow! I pretty much self-sabotaged my whole adult life.
Here is the thing…
Perfectionists aren’t all A+ students who are neat and tidy and detail-oriented.
I’m none of those things and I’m definitely a perfectionist.
Perfectionism Is A Mindset
Perfectionism is a set of beliefs that you have adopted over time.
Perfectionists aren’t perfect, they worry they aren’t perfect enough.
Perfectionists believe deep down they aren’t good enough and worry about having this belief validated by attempting something, putting themselves out there and then failing.
Failure needs to be avoided because perfectionists will make it mean they’re not good, pretty, intelligent, talented or capable enough.
Perfectionism is really a question of self-worth.
This mindset is ingrained in your subconscious.
I never consciously thought: I’m not good enough.
I’m actually a very confident person who isn’t afraid of leaving her comfort zone.
However, when it comes to self-sabotage though, it is quite sneaky.
It will disguise itself in the most clever ways and only with the awareness of what is actually going on I was able to finally follow through with my plans.
As a perfectionism coach, I work a lot with women who struggle with following through with their plans.
- Do you love a to-do list but have difficulties finishing it?
- Are you a procrastinator?
If you shouted YES, then the following 5 productivity tips are perfect for you.
5 Productivity Hacks For Perfectionists
1. Create A To-Do-List
Perfectionism and unfinished to-do lists go hand in hand.
As a perfectionist, you like to set high standards for yourself.
Your to-do list is long and ambitious.
You probably like to delete and add things and midway through you drop the whole list altogether and start again.
Putting too much on your plate is a typical self-sabotaging technique.
Perfectionists tend to over-plan and waste time with research even though they already know what to do.
You’re probably already used to not following through with your plans so that you’ve lost all your self-trust when it comes to doing what you say you’re going to do.
Deep down you already know you won’t do all those things because you have proven to yourself over and over again that you don’t keep your promises.
What To Do
When it comes to planning it is so so important you are honest with yourself.
What can you ACTUALLY achieve this week with the time you have?
The fewer tasks the better.
I tend to not have more than 3 tasks on my daily list.
Only when I finish the 3 tasks, I can add to my list.
The right planning strategy is crucial when it comes to finishing your to-do list.
I suggest brainstorming everything you feel you need to do once a week and then prioritize.
Which gets me straight to point number 2. ????????
2. Prioritizing Your Tasks
Yes, I know you probably heard this a million times and might be rolling your eyes right now.
The mindset of “I know it all” is not the most serving mindset to have. Just saying.
It’s more beneficial for your own growth and development to stay open and curious, always.
When it comes to prioritizing you HAVE TO BE HONEST with yourself.
What To Do
This is when goal setting comes in handy.
You need to know:
- What is my monthly and weekly goal?
- Which tasks will get me closer to my goals?
No matter what your goal is (health, personal or business-related) you need to reverse engineer it and figure out the most important tasks.
How Do I Achieve My Goal
Will changing my website fonts result in a new client or will writing emails get me closer to my weight loss goal?
What tasks do you REALLY need to do from your brainstorming list to get you closer to your goal?
When you have the answers you prioritize your tasks and write them in your calendar or on your to-do list.
You will want to make excuses and shuffle things around.
Be prepared for that.
It’s best to get the most annoying or difficult task out of the way first.
Those are the ones you will want to procrastinate on.
3. Make Decisions & Commit
Perfectionists really struggle with decision making.
They love to stay in confusion because it feels less vulnerable to “not know” than to commit and be uncomfortable.
Commitment and taking action invites the possibility of failure.
A lot of the women I coach struggle with clarity.
They stay in indecision way longer than they should and waste a lot of time going back and forth.
They want to make the RIGHT decision.
Making the right decision would mean decreasing the chances of failure but that thought process creates a lot of pressure and mental drama.
What To Do
What if there is no right decision?
Figuring out the right or perfect decision is a waste of time and energy.
It’s about starting, doing, taking action and then evaluating what works and what doesn’t work.
When it comes to productivity and finishing your to-do list, it’s really about deciding and committing to your prioritized tasks and sticking to them.
You may want to change or start to question them.
You probably want to go back into that place of indecision because it feels familiar.
- I don’t know what Canva template to use?
- I’m not sure what kind of work out I should do?
- Which Pinterest graphic will get me more views?
It’s a trap.
Your brain will try to go back to a place of uncertainty and you need to become aware of when that happens.
The trick is to make quick decisions.
When I notice I am going down an indecision spiral I set myself a time limit to decide (not more than 5 minutes) and then move on.
4. Feeling Motivated
We like to be productive when we feel like it and we want to feel motivated to do the work or go to the gym.
Motivation is the worst support to count on.
It is flaky and unreliable.
Don’t wait for or rely on motivation.
What To Do
In order to be productive, you need to learn to ignore motivation and do the work NO MATTER WHAT.
The way to do that is by creating a default mechanism that you fall back on when you don’t feel like it.
Your brain will come up with all kinds of beautiful and seductive thoughts that you can and should think instead.
That’s when most people crumble and turn to excuses.
I can do it tomorrow! Maybe I can skip the gym (even though it’s on my list)…
The way to avoid crumbling when you feel a lack of motivation is to commit to your tasks with a No Matter What-Approach.
I would recommend writing this out as a thought in your journal in the morning: I will do my tasks today NO MATTER WHAT.
This morning thought work will put you in a powerful Can-Do-Energy.
5. Beat Procrastination
This is probably the biggest problem for perfectionists.
All my clients struggle with procrastination.
Procrastination is an avoidance tactic and perfectionist love to avoid being vulnerable and uncomfortable.
Basically, if they hear avoidance they’re on board!
One of the sneakiest ways to procrastinate as a perfectionist is busy-procrastination or busywork.
This is the kind of procrastination that feels super good and productive but doesn’t lead you anywhere.
Busy procrastination looks like you’re doing something super important – such as – over-editing or re-editing, re-doing work that which has already been done, writing emails, researching (watching YouTube videos or reading blogs) – but that is not actually important in the moment.
It normally distracts you from something urgent and more difficult on your list.
It is so easy to get caught up in busywork because it feels less vulnerable than doing the hard, non-fun stuff.
It’s a great excuse to avoid the hard work by still feeling like you’re productive since you’re not watching Netflix or eating snacks.
At the end of the day, busywork leads to the same result: Not achieving your goal.
What To Do
The best thing to do is to practice awareness when it comes to wanting to do busy work.
I personally have a little notebook next to me on my desk and whenever I have the urge to do something else I write down the urge and immediately move on.
Not falling into busywork requires discipline and discipline comes from your thinking: I’m doing this NO MATTER WHAT.
Perfectionism is a mindset that you can learn to get out of.
You don’t need to stay in this spiral of starting, giving up, starting, getting confused, starting, getting distracted.
You already have it within you to break that vicious cycle.
And if you need support with it get in touch with me and I’m happy to help.
Before You Go
Let me know if any of the above resonates with you in the comments! I would love to hear your input.
There is a lot more to discuss when it comes to procrastination, productivity, and perfectionism in general and if you’re keen to learn more about it check out my blog Susslife.com or give my podcast The Sweet Life Project a listen.
Or just be a friendly soul and say hello on Instagram or Twitter.
Thanks for reading, Monja x
This is definitely me! I am 46 years old, I have 2 grown kids and I still struggle daily. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and will out these suggestions to good use.
So glad you enjoyed it and that it resonated with you! xx
I never ever write reviews or leave comments but this resonates so intensely with me – I just couldn’t leave without saying THANK YOU.
This post was 100% exactly what I needed right now to stop the impeding anxiety melt-down from doing all the things listed above and self-sabotaging
Thank you, thank you for a short and simple, honest, doable guide to breaking the habit.
So so happy you enjoyed Monja’s post! <3