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Perfectionism

As I was working with several clients this past week, all busy moms, there seemed to be a common theme. PERFECTIONISM. It seems like a nice word. Even seems like something you want to strive for. But what I was finding amongst these busy women was that perfectionism equaled procrastination. Since it had happened to me also this week, I could completely identify with them. We want to do our best for our families and our business and our expectations of what ‘our best’ means may have just been out of line with the amount of time we could devote to these tasks this week. We wanted to:

  • Write hand written thank you notes to a few business colleagues who referred clients to us
  • Pick out the perfect thoughtful gift for a niece’s new baby
  • Go sale shopping at Toys R Us to stock up on toys for upcoming birthday parties

But sometimes, in the interest of saving our sanity and staying on schedule, we need to understand that “imperfect is still…done”. I can’t take the credit for this quote. My client is the one who said it or something similar when we started talking about the issue that we were facing. Imperfect is still…done. I wouldn’t say that this can apply to everything in life. I certainly wouldn’t want the air traffic controllers to adopt this as a mantra. But, sometimes in life, with non-essential tasks, we need to give ourselves permission to:

  • Send a thank you email instead of a hand written note
  • Send a gift certificate to your niece so SHE can buy something nice for her new baby
  • Buy a stack of Toys R Us or Target gift cards in $15-20 values so you always have a ‘present’ on hand for those kids’ birthday parties

I think that it is far more important to do these things in a timely manner then to do them ‘perfectly’. I would much rather receive a baby gift while I still have a baby then to receive the perfect baby blanket when my kid starts kindergarten. I would much rather receive a thank you note soon after an event or situation then to receive one and have to sit and think about why this person is sending me a thank you note.

OK, so here is the new mantra: When it comes to non-essential tasks, imperfect is still….done! Take a look at your to-do lists this week and see where you have been striving for perfectionism and instead procrastinating and try out our new mantra.

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