Both procrastination and perfectionism are blockers of progress and signs of fear.
They block progress because they stop you shipping your work. They prevent you from getting started or they convince you it’s not good enough to share.
They are signs of fear manifesting as productivity problems. Fear of being seen, fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of change, fear of success.
The what ifs creep in to run the show. What if they hate it? What if they laugh? What if there’s a consequence I haven’t thought of?
They keep us playing small and hiding within our comfort zone, surrounded by what we’ve always known and never testing the edges.
The antidote to procrastination is a set of questions.
What do I want?
Do I really want what I say I want?
What’s stopping me taking action?
Why am I being distracted?
Pretty soon we realise our intentions don’t stack up. We don’t actually want what we say we want, or we don’t want the responsibility or work that comes with the attainment of our goals. The office doesn’t need tidying, the messages don’t need responding to, the grocery trip can wait. What matters is the deep work and finishing the project, so what are you afraid of?
The antidote to perfectionism is a set of reminders.
Done is better than perfect.
Close is close enough.
Nothing will ever be finished.
Flaws and quirks are what makes something unique.
Rarely is an artist ever completely satisfied with their masterpiece.
If it has the potential to help someone, it needs to be out in the world.
This is all a game.
In reality, probably no one will notice the imperfections you can see. They might never realise. They might love it anyway. In blocking the launch, in delaying the start, you miss the chance to find out.
What are you not sharing? When are you succumbing to procrastination and perfectionism and what fear is it hiding?
My friend Deborah Hurwitz recently invited me onto her online series, Productivity for Perfectionists. We recorded an interview together, as well as 24 other creators and business leaders who share strategies and stories for overcoming both procrastination and perfectionism.
The series promises:
- Concrete strategies you can use to break through procrastination immediately·
- How to uncover and dismantle the fears that stop you in your tracks·
- Lasting relief from the overwhelm of massive to-do lists and relentless distractions
- Total clarity on what your inner critic is really trying to tell you
- Motivation to move your biggest goals forward with confidence, ease and pleasure
It’s completely free and you are welcome to sign up here.