Perfectionism & Productivity: How To Find The Right Balance?
Everybody likes perfection, and I think everyone, to a certain degree, tries to achieve perfection in most things they do. Of course, my idea of perfection will probably differ from yours, simply because we each have different values and standards. But that’s cool. Those little differences are what makes each of us unique. It’s the person who can’t relax and accept those differences who runs into problems with perfectionism because he’s always worried about what other people will think. So worried, in fact, that sometimes he’s simply frozen in fear.
How To Find The Right Balance?
I do a lot of writing and every now and then I’ll catch myself sitting there tweaking a post, re-writing this, moving the paragraphs around, changing the tone here and changing the voice there. By no stretch of the imagination would I ever call myself a perfectionist but when I catch myself in these little fugues I can understand how they feel. They just want everything to be, well, perfect. They’re afraid someone will come along and judge them on a perceived imperfection.
While attention to detail is important, if it gets to the point where you aren’t publishing anything because you’re afraid nothing you do is good enough, or “perfect” then it’s time to take action. I usually just catch myself and say, “Oh, for heaven’s sake. Just publish the stupid thing and be done with it!” but if you’re a true perfectionist that might not work for you.
Here are some tips to help overcome your perfectionism:
Go read a few A-list blogs: Even A-list bloggers make spelling and grammar errors and I haven’t seen one yet I’d consider “perfect.” Yes, there are some remarkable blog posts out there but the mediocre content on the web far outweighs the remarkable and these bloggers are all blogging along without a care in the world – and they’re making money. Relax and quit beating yourself up.
Nobody expects perfection: Your readers know you’re a real human being. If your posts were nothing but typos and run-on paragraphs you wouldn’t have any readers. Obviously, if you have readers, they’re visiting your blog because they like it just the way it is. It might not be “perfect” to you, but it’s good enough for them. Relax and bask in the sunshine.
Understand this is a business: If you were working for someone else they’d never let you get away with decreasing your productivity so you could focus on being perfect. To build a successful blog you need to maintain a regular posting frequency and you can’t afford the time you spend fixing, fixing, fixing. You need to be concerned about production.
Learn to write better: Start with an outline of your key points and put those points in the proper order. Then, write your attention-grabbing opening paragraph and flesh out the details for each of your points. Now, all you need is a closing paragraph with a call to action and a killer title. You’ll find lots of posts here at Dukeo to help you learn to write better and faster. Maybe all you really need is a little more polish to help your self-confidence.
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