Thursday, April 28, 2016

3 Keys Thursday: 3 Keys to Thinking "Progress" Instead of "Perfection"

Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
Boy, it's a good thing I'm not a perfectionist, or the lateness of this post would really bug me!
(Just a smidgen of sarcasm there....)

The sad thing is, I had it all sketched out yesterday, and thought I'd have it posted long before now. But after I finished teaching for the day, I hit the wall, and nothing was possible before a nap. Nothing coherent anyway.

Which brings me to today's 3 Keys, which also happen to connect to the perfectionism I talked about yesterday. On tap today? Three keys to thinking in terms of progress instead of perfection.

Work in short bursts. It's impossible to complete a big project in small block of time -- and that's the point. If you know going in that perfection is not achievable, it's easier to set that perfectionistic mindset aside (easier being a relative term, of course). Better to Give it Five! and see progress than let things sit (or get worse) until you have the perfect time block in which to organize them perfectly. Pat yourself on the back for perfectly completing your time block -- whether it's five minutes or an hour -- instead of beating yourself up for not making the space look perfect.

Use the not-quite-right thing until the perfect thing comes along. It's easy to put off tackling that problem area until you have the right containers, but the longer you wait, the more out of control the space gets. Grab the nearest almost-right container and remind yourself it's temporary, then dig in. Tell yourself you're doing research, because you are. The parameters of the temporary container will help you to determine exactly what you need for that space. Besides, temporary restoration of order really is better than chaos until the perfect container crosses your path.

Do what you can do. My day today reminded me of this one. Many days, there's a big gap between what we want to accomplish and what we actually get done, and it's all too easy to beat ourselves up over that gap. Progress -- any progress -- really is a good thing, and learning to focus on what we've done instead of what we haven't done can make life a whole lot happier.

I'm getting better at conquering my perfectionism one project at a time. How about you?

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