How To Deal With Perfectionism At Work?

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Do you often think about how to deal with perfectionism at work? If you are always the first person to reach the office and the last one to leave, if you double-check not only your work but your teammates’ as well, if you need everything you do to be perfect- you are a perfectionist. 

But there is a slight issue- nothing can be perfect. There is always room for improvement. Mistakes are inevitable. There will be typos in your reports, maybe a misspelt tweet from your company’s Twitter handle, or a fumbled presentation for which you were unable to prepare properly. These things will probably happen sooner or later, so it is essential to understand that it won’t mean the end of the world. If you are constantly striving for perfection, it can actually negatively affect your job performance. Also, your state of mind would improve if you managed to cut down on stress and anxiety at work, then you’re probably a few steps behind in understanding how to deal with perfectionism at work.

Perfectionism can cause difficulty in completing tasks, time management issues and procrastination. This, in turn, could lead to resentment from colleagues. Fortunately, there are ways through which you can maintain a healthy balance between being concerned about your work and taking care of yourself as well:

Realistic Expectations 

You will end up disappointing your boss, colleagues and yourself if you don’t set realistic expectations for yourself. You can begin by taking the store of your perfectionism. If you are unconsciously or consciously expecting perfection, you will have to change that pattern. If you wish to deal with perfectionism at work, it can help in some instances while inflicting damage in others. It definitely helps in catching mistakes, being organized and having a strong work ethic. But it can also lead to exhaustion and annoyance in colleagues. 

Accept Failure

Perfectionists work so hard because they are terrified of failure. But everyone has to face failure at some point or another. In fact, facing failure in your life and career is actually important especially if you’re moving towards understanding the basics to deal with perfectionism at work because it teaches us so many lessons. We cannot simply skip that step because we are afraid of failing. So the next time you take up an assignment at work, don’t worry about failing. And when you do fail, instead of getting depressed and anxious, focus on the feedback you receive and learn from your mistakes. You will start to see the positive impact this will have on your mindset and attitude. 

deal with perfectionism at work
Perfectionism begins when you start accepting your feedback to work upon.

Create Feasible Deadlines 

Even though it might feel uncomfortable at first, restrain yourself from checking everything “one last time”. Set deadlines so that you keep moving on to the next task without getting stuck on one while trying to make it perfect. If you wish to deal with perfectionism at work, you must understand that it can lead to you wasting valuable time while your co-workers finish their assignments within the deadline. When you start creating deadlines for different parts of your assignment or project, you will automatically stop obsessing over tiny details and start working in a better place. 

Perfectionism can cause a lot of stress and anxiety at work. Through paying attention to details is actually a good habit, when you start overdoing it, it takes a toll on your mind. Being too nitpicky can also lead to feelings of resentment in your colleagues. Since being on good terms with your colleagues is a must, you have to eliminate habits that could irritate them. It might be a good idea also to remove as many distractions as you possibly can. You should also consult a therapist if you feel that you will be unable to tone down your perfectionism by yourself. 

These are just some of the ways through which you can stop perfectionism from taking over your life and causing you issues at work. Which suggestion did you find the most useful? Let us know in the comment section below.


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