Perfectionism and Procrastination

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 7, 2006

Many small business owners have a strong desire for excellence, which they typically meet or exceed. If taken too far, however, setting high standards can turn into a form of perfectionism.

Surprisingly, many who describe themselves as perfectionists find themselves procrastinating, sometimes on important projects or to-do list items. That’s because when we set a standard of perfection for ourselves or others, the result can often be demotivating. Normally we are motivated by the prospect of meeting or exceeding our goals, and since meeting a standard of perfection is unlikely at best, it causes many people to stop trying altogether.

Without understanding the relationship between perfection and procrastination, this inaction can be mistaken for plain old laziness or inattention. If you or someone you are leading seems to be putting off something important, look beneath the surface for perfectionism, double-check your own standards, and make adjustments as necessary. Remember, while perfection may apply in the divine realm, excellence is an appropriately high standard for the rest of us humans.

David Peck
Founder
Leadership Unleashed
San Francisco

Reader Comments

Rajesh Sethi

October 12, 2008 10:57 AM

A lot of thanks MR David Peck,for writing such a useful piece of information.From this artical,I could understand that, as if going with PERFECTION leads to unrealistic(impractical to achieve) goals,which in turn leads to Demotivation...Thank you once again.

Post a comment

 

About

Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!