Does Perfectionism Help or Hinder Business?

In the business world, it’s easy to find perfectionists. Are you one?

Perfectionism can help us have a critical eye, keep us driven and motivated to work harder, but if you find yourself changing direction again and again, questioning your choices, or stressing about small details, perfectionism will be more of a hindrance then a help. Many negative things can stem from this, the most prominent being wasted resources of both time and money. At the end of the day the outcome doesn’t generally justify the effort. Here are some tips to liberate yourself from the net of perfectionism when you find yourself ensnared.

Make a Decision and Stick to it
You make good decisions; that's the reason you're managing the projects you are working on. So when you make a decision, stick to it.  Try not to second-guess yourself - this just wastes time. Who’s to say your fourth or fifth decision will be any better or beneficial? If you start that second-guessing game, it can spiral out of control!

Trust your Employees
When you tell your staff your plan and what resources you'll need from them, listen to their input. They will let you know if it’s possible and if they think it’s a good idea.  Paying attention to their insight will help prevent you from sliding into another guessing game. Another piece to this is, trusting your employees to do their part well. You hired them because they are skilled, right? Lastly, before you start executing your plan, just in case…

Have a Plan B
You never know what’s going to happen! A hurdle may arise that can't be overcome, so make sure you have a plan B. A backup plan can help you from getting entrenched to deeply in your first plan and devastated if things go wrong. The more flexible and ready for change you are, the easier it is to adapt to things life throws at you.

There is a fine line between perfectionism and having a critical eye.  It’s essential to always strive for the best, but obsessing about getting something perfect is harmful to the project and your mental health. The steps I’ve outlined above will help you to free yourself from the perfectionist mindset, if you find yourself there.

Here is a great article about avoiding the pitfalls of perfectionism completely.