Don’t make the mistake of being too perfect about everything! It’s not wrong to be somebody who wants to do things right. But to be very successful you don’t have the time to be perfect at everything!

Did you ever hear about the Pareto Principle? It’s about the relation of 80:20. Related to work this means: In almost every work there’s like 80% of the work that can be done in 20% amount of the time. It’s the detailed work, time and energy that usually takes the last 20% to complete something but it takes 80% of the time (Read here for a more detailed explanation what the Pareto Principle is about).

If you a perfectionist you may tend to be too extreme in the last 20%! Also if you understand the Pareto Principle you know that the last 20% of something are usually taking 80% of the time from something. So devoting a little(!) bit of the planned time is okay – but not too much!

In the end it’s all about not being too perfect but also don’t miss any crucial important stuff.

If you are extreme at perfectionism you may take a long time to start. Your competitors – even if they are bad – may be much faster than you and get more success. On extreme occasions this can lead to you devoting too much energy at the wrong places. Also if it gets too far you can get something like a burn out. Another frequent consequence can be that you procrastinate the execution of your plans – because they don’t fit the high expectations you set to yourself.

So it’s not always laziness that keeps you or other people from getting stuff done. What may seem easy for someone (person A) who isn’t aware of a lot of details of something. May be not at all for somebody (person B) who knows much more about it. Maybe he has a hard time trying to get everything “perfectly the right way”. Person A can’t be aware of all the things Person B has in his mind.

With knowing that you can try sometimes for yourself to see everything out of the perspective from Person A. This can help you to reduce your work, effort and energy to the minimum in regard to the result you want to achieve.

That in the end shows and leads to something which goes hand in hand with perfectionism and being successful in general: Having a good plan, setting goals and formulate them in an accurate way.

At the latest you may have to formulate work instructions on some day in your life that should not only be done by yourself but also by others. Setting goals and try to formulate them accurately can help you at planning and later to see if everything is developing how you expected it. You can always readjust but it’s crucial to have a good plan in the beginning.

Nevertheless, don’t be too pessimistic about what I just told you! If you have traits of perfectionism it’s really great! Nobody likes lazy people that’s for sure. In this article I just wanted to give you some advice that there’s no reason in trying to “overperfectionize” everything. It won’t make you feel good and isn’t worth the result in most cases.

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  1. CryptosDecrypted

    Thanks, @infosion. It’s the same with writing an article – it’s the little details pic/ editing/reframing that takes all the time as often you already have the entire post in your head (except the links of course). Balance in all things – remains a good guide imo.

    1. Infosion Post author

      Thank you very much! An yes you’re right, I also think it’s a good example of something which you can try and optimize but because of the different tasks it will probably allways take around 20% of the time involved.