There is nothing wrong with wanting to do something right. However, when you spend unnecessary time in trying to make something perfect, it can cost you money, especially as a freelancer. Time is a freelancer’s friend or enemy, depending how you use it. As a perfectionist, time becomes your enemy because you are spending far too much time on a task than is necessary.
There is a fine balance between presenting quality work and the amount of time it takes to complete the project. Here are 5 ways to get rid of the perfectionist tendencies without sacrificing quality.
-1- The Issue
Perfectionism is about the fear of man: the fear of disappointing people; the fear that you will make a mistake; the fear of not being good enough, not being up to standard; being afraid of failing; and for many being afraid of succeeding. When you see the signs of your perfectionist tendencies kicking in during an assignment, stop; be truthful with yourself until you know what it is that you are afraid of. When you have identified what it is that you fear, you can address it to get rid of it. While you are staring this giant in the face, go through the worst scenario that could possibly happen, and you will be surprised how this giant becomes tiny and disappears.
Diligence and compulsiveness are not the same. There is a fine line between being diligent, with researching, revising, and double-checking, and to be compulsive. When you are being compulsive, or even obsessive, it results in wasting time and doing work that was unnecessary. Decide how much time is a reasonable amount of time to finish the task, and set a time limit according to that. When the time has run out and you are not finished yet, stop working on the task and change to another task. By doing this you will become more attentive of any unnecessary perfectionist tendencies, and secondly it forces you to take a quick break, allowing yourself to relax before continuing with the next task at hand. When you come back to the task, it will be with a fresh pair of eyes and helping you to keep compulsiveness at bay.
It is safe to trust yourself. When insecure about your ability to produce quality work, fear creeps in, and your compulsiveness starts kicking in. If insecure, it will affect your productivity. The moment you see that happening, confirm your ability to accomplish this task, and trusting yourself. Remind yourself of all the clients that continue sending you work because they are satisfied with your accomplishments. Read any testimonies and compliments you have received from clients, reaffirming what you are capable of. Perhaps you should read it out loud so that you can hear it.
-4- Freelance Buddy
Freelancers need to be self-motivators because they work alone in a very competitive environment. To lose perspective on what you have achieved and can accomplish happens easily. Find a buddy, a freelancer buddy who can support you in breaking the perfectionist cycle.
Mistakes happen; after all you are human and not perfect. Make peace with the fact that you will make mistakes. Keep in mind that people learn from their mistakes. Many breakthroughs were accomplished by making mistakes, for example, penicillin, microwave ovens, and fireworks. Perhaps your mistake is the next breakthrough for mankind.
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