Perfection is Stagnation

The 3 Ps: Perfectionism, Procrastination, and Paralysis

Do you set your standards high, but always feel like you’ve failed? Learn about the 3 “P’s” and end the vicious cycle that keeps you stuck and ineffective.

The Vicious Cycle
Perfectionism, procrastination, and paralysis one often leads to the next, in a vicious cycle, especially on large, long-term projects with no clear deadlines. Lets look at each part of this cycle, and explore some concrete steps that you can take to disrupt the cycle.

Perfectionism can be defined as striving towards impossibly high goals. Perfectionists are caught in a trap they can never be good enough. They engage in rigid, black or white thinking about their own performance if it isnt perfect, its horrible.

Ironically, perfectionists often achieve a product that is far less than perfect. At times, their performance is mediocre. In contrast, those who aim at more realistic goals can outperform the perfectionists. How can this be? The procrastination and paralysis that results from overly high standards causes the perfectionist to wait until its too late, then rush to do something; anything. The more relaxed realist, in the meantime, is able to put an effort in earlier, over a more prolonged period of time, with more chance to let time and subsequent changes or editing improve the final product.

When you believe that your next project should set the world on fire, you are setting yourself up for failure. At some level you know that this level of achievement is unlikely. You lose your energy and excitement for your project.

On a football field, when the coach yells at the team that they are a bunch of @$#% for playing so poorly, the players may play better. That is because they are enraged at being humiliated and they can use the rage to batter their opponents. This doesnt not work in other spheres! Criticism, whether from your boss or your own inner critical audience slows you down, and interferes with your thinking process.

It is so easy to put off the next step of your project when thinking about it makes you experience unpleasant feelings. So you procrastinate. Ill get started tomorrow, and work twice as hard. But its hard for you to ignore the fact that you are not living up to your own high expectations for yourself. Im lazy. I have no will power.

As time goes on, you start to grind to a halt. That leads to the third P.

You do absolutely nothing on the very project that is most important to you. This is devastating for your self-esteem, and very discouraging. Its hard to plan your next project when you failed to complete your last one.

How to Avoid the 3 Ps
There are steps that you can take to avoid falling into the vicious cycle of the 3 Ps.
Become aware of the perfectionist audience voices in your head (no, you’re not crazy.) You cant learn to ignore them if you don’t know that they’re talking to you.
Learn how to answer them back (don’t do it out loud or people will think you’re crazy.) An example would be, OK its not my best work but at least I’m finishing it.
Look for role models who are satisfied with good enough. Note how they get things done and are not looked down on by others.
Set up realistic goals. One way to tell if a goal is realistic is if you can actually do it. For example, Read two articles and write for 15 minutes before 5:00 tonight is a realistic goal. Read two articles and write for 6 hours and write 10 pages before 5:00 tonight is not a realistic goal.
If you have reached the third P, drastic steps are needed. Talk to a trusted friend, find a project buddy, or seek coaching. Do Not Give Up it is very possible to get yourself out of the paralyzed state and back to productivity with just a little help.

A Final P. Or Maybe Two.

Start with baby steps. Do a little every day. As you observe your own productivity, however small it may be, you will start to feel better about yourself. You were capable all along its just that your unrealistic expectations stopped you from functioning optimally. Eventually your productivity will start to look like Progress. And that’s the last P for today.

The right time

Procrastination Kills

Ever find some things you start without ever thinking about it. Other things just get set aside and end up at the bottom of your “to do list”. How about I will get around to do it? Quit procrastination and start taking steps to end this dreadful disease.

Many people today suffer from procrastination. Stopping procrastination is not very hard actually. It is just hard in our minds. When making decisions on what is important to do and then getting it done fast. This will put you in the fast lane towards opportunities and success. There are two simple ways to put an end to procrastination. The first way to put an end to procrastination is to make a decision. Either do it or don’t do it. If you are going to do it put it in your planner right away and block a time to get it done. By making a decision, there is no reason to procrastinate. Most decisions take only a few minutes to decide on. When you ignore or walk away from the decisions, you will pay a consequence at the end, whether it will be good or bad.

The second way is to learn to recognize your behaviors. Some people avoid making decisions by watching T.V., going shopping, going to bars, all attempts to hind the decision that needs to be made at that time. I know this first hand because I have used shopping to walk away from decisions that need to be taken care of in the past. Ignoring issues will not make them go away. It takes self-discipline and self control to break this dreadful disease. However once you break through this barrier, your life will start to transform. Amazing things will start to happen in both your personal and business life. So recognize your behaviors, step up, and make a decision. Take action today.

Time Management

How Do I Get Started With Good Time Management?

As with many roads, the path to effective time management is paved with all sorts of good intentions. People sometimes have the dream, but lack the drive to take that first step and then keep moving up the path. Often, the lack of progress is for no reason other than a failure to prepare for the trip. Here is what you need to do if you are serious about leaving your slovenly ways behind and becoming the master of your own time.

  1. Adjust Your Attitude

This is the step that many people leave out of the equation when they decide to get on the road to good time management. Unfortunately, not all those self-help books and seminars include any ideas on how to begin to change your outlook on life so that you can embrace the basics of managing your time effectively.

One of the easiest ways to initiate this change of heart is to make a list of the benefits you will immediately receive if you start managing your time to better advantage. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the list has to be loaded with all sorts of impressive advantages or big events. After all, it is the day to day tasks that usually give people the most satisfaction anyway.

For example, your list could include benefits like:

  • More time to play with the kids
  • The kitchen cupboard has real food in it that can be used to make a decent meal.
  • The utilities will stay on all the time, because the bills will be paid on time.
  • You’ll get to see the opening scenes of the movie, catch the first inning of the baseball game, and get the best pickings at the yard sale, all because from now on you will be on time.
  • Your coworkers will be friendlier, since they are not waiting on you for something they need to get their jobs done.
  • Your boss will take the “Help Wanted” sign out of the store window.
  • You will feel more relaxed at the end of the day, because you know there is not a bunch of old stuff to do when you get to work in the morning.

Zero in on what poor time management has taken away from you over time, and how much fun it will be to have all those things back. If that’s not enough incentive to make some changes in the way you look at things, then you are probably dooming yourself to failure once again.

2. Start Small

It’s hard to break old habits. That’s what poor time management is, nothing more than a bad habit. As with many habits, you have to start with small changes if you want to succeed over the long term.

There are a couple of good reasons to begin with the little things and gradually incorporate more of the bigger things in your new time management scheme:

  • You’ll gain confidence. Nothing motivates people like a sense of accomplishment. It doesn’t matter that it is only one small change. The important thing is you did it. And if you did it today, you can do it tomorrow, and the day after that. Each day you manage to repeat that one small time management process, you will feel more empowered to make another change for the better.
  • People will notice. Loved ones and coworkers will see you are serious about learning how to practice effective time management, and begin to rally around you. True, their support may be tentative at first, especially if you’ve tried to become more organized in the past, but given up the effort after a day or two. But as you become consistently more dedicated to setting the little things in order, they will come around and compliment you on your efforts.
  • You’ll discover strategies and ideas that might work with some of the bigger things. As you master the little tasks that come during the day, you will probably begin to notice that some of the larger tasks can be addressed with the same approaches. This can be a good thing, as it helps you to brainstorm on ways to deal with different situations by using a tool you already have on hand and know how to use effectively.
  • You’ll become better at prioritizing your action items. It won’t take long for you to notice that the day went much smoother when you performed Task B before Task A. Finding just the right order for those small daily tasks will allow you to move through them quicker and with more proficiency. As a result, you will begin to develop little pockets of time that can be devoted to other endeavors.
  • Your stress level will begin to decrease. The more in control you are of your time and tasks, the less you will feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. This ties directly back into building a sense of empowerment and confidence in your ability to manage your time effectively. One feeds off the other two, giving you a strength and focus you may have never experienced before.

3. Reward Yourself

Think of it this way: if you won a prize, wouldn’t you celebrate at least a little? Making forward strides with learning how to manage your time is something worth acknowledging and celebrating. Sure, the fact that you go to work on time every day for a whole week now might not seem like much to anybody else, but that is not the point. The point is you made a positive step that put you back in charge of a part of your life and you are now managing it properly.

Of course, it is important to make sure your reward does not create yet another time management disaster that has to be straightened out. But assuming you have some spare time on the way home Friday evening, why not reward yourself with some little something you will enjoy, like a cup of your favorite coffee or picking up a copy of a magazine you really enjoy?

Keep in mind that a reward does not have to be big, splashy, or expensive. As you are learning by taking control of the little tasks in your life, a lot of satisfaction can come from little things. So go right ahead and allow yourself a small reward and enjoy it to the fullest. And if you want to have more rewards, continue to incrementally expand the control you have over your time.

4. Expect The Occasional Setback

Even the most proficient of time managers don’t always hit the mark. As you begin the process of learning how to do a better job with your time, there will be situations where you overlook something or encounter circumstances that temporarily derail your newfound ability to get things done.

It is as this point that many people choose to decide they simply can’t change and slip back into their old habits. While you certainly don’t want to brush off a setback as being nothing of consequence, you also don’t want to allow it to undermine all the progress you’ve made.

Instead of burying the setback or allowing it to lose confidence, try this third approach. Take a long look at all the circumstances surrounding the setback. Were there extenuating circumstances that you did not notice on the front end? Did something completely unforeseen arise as you were attempting to complete the task?

Knowing what happened and why it happened can be turned into a learning experience. By stepping back and examining the situation as dispassionately as you can, there is a good chance you can learn a few things from what appears to be a failure in managing your time effectively.

You may learn such valuable lessons as:

  • Points to clarify or data to double-check before you attempt the same or similar tasks again.
  • Additional tools or resources to assemble before tacking a task of this type.
  • A more effective process to deal with the situation.
  • Ways to defuse factors that led to the problem in the first place.

Never allow a setback to stop you in your tracks. Acknowledge it, learn from it, and then move on. Remember that you have other things that should be occupying your time.

Learning to implement solid time management practices and attitudes is an incremental process that involves the acquisition of knowledge, the application of what you learn, and the accumulation of personal experience. As you continue to move forward, your supply of all three components will increase, and your ability to manage your time will increase right along with them.


Importance of Working on A Single Task

This is not about completely discouraging you to stop working on several things at once, if that’s what you feel and believe would keep you focused and closer to achieving your goals. This is about giving you another option if you want to keep yourself from burning out and drying out of ideas and concepts without even getting somewhere.

There are many reasons why working on a single task is important advantageous for an internet businessman like you.

  • You can actually focus on the most important aspect of your business. If you set your sights on one thing, distraction will and cannot be entertained. Another thing, some tasks cannot be done while doing other things, and it doesn’t matter how good you are at multitasking, if the task calls for your complete or undivided attention, pairing it with other stuff just won’t do.
  • You can ensure quality. Who doesn’t want to be proud of their work? And having too much on your plate can sacrifice the quality and effectivity of your project. Remember that the success of your online business is in your hands, so putting all your effort and attention to one task can definitely do wonders for you and your business.
  • You get to enjoy your work more. Have you ever experienced feeling too swamped with work and because you had so many things to do, you have completely forgotten what it’s like to enjoy and love the work that you are doing? Well, if you focus on doing one thing, you can, not only savor every bit of success that you gain out of your task, but also appreciate your work and your talents more.
  • Relaxation is just around the corner. Yes, you may achieve m any things out of multi-tasking, but at the end of the day you will feel really tired and burned out. You will also feel that with everything that you have to do; and that there is no end to all of this. Whilst when you work on one thing, every time you finish a task, you will feel rewarded and will have room for relaxation as well.

Working on one task at a time will help you weigh out and prioritize the important things. Compared to multitasking which treats everything important and urgent even if the tasks can be left in the other room and can wait another day.

What's holding you back?

10 Reasons Why You Are Not Moving Forward

Anyone can attest that moving forward means getting things done on time while ensuring that your output is of the highest quality. But what if you have somehow found yourself at the crossroads of not getting things done and not being satisfied with your work? Have you ever thought of what could cause this lack of productivity?

Here are some reasons why you feel that you are not moving forward with your work:

  1. You are focusing on the wrong things or tasks. Sometimes, the thought of success and doing a lot of things for your business can get you to miss on seeing the real picture such as what your business actually needs.
  2. Your projects’ aims or goals are not clear.  What does your business actually need? What do you want to see it do for your business? Set your goals straight.
  3. You think about yourself and what multiple projects can do for you compared to what it can do for your business. Come on, everything is not about you, and although being able to accomplish a lot for your company can make you look good, it would still help if you plan for the good of everyone else.
  4. You overload yourself with too much information that you fail to distinguish which ones are relevant to your company. Pick out and use only the pertinent information, otherwise you will end up confused and unable to complete your tasks with accuracy.
  5. Distractions can get the best of you. This means that having a lot of things on your mind can keep you from focusing on your goals. And take note, distractions are not just about other tasks that you have in mind, distractions also include friends, partying too hard and too often and those times that you spend lollygagging during office hours.
  6. Disorganized and dysfunctional work system. Of course, this is pretty much understandable, considering that fact that having a disorganized system can greatly affect you and your company’s productivity.
  7. You get affected by too much negativity from yourself and other people around you. Obviously, if you let yourself be taken over by all those negative comments such as: you are not good enough for the job, or that you are too much of a perfectionist that you can’t seem to focus on what you want and what you have to do. And if you procrastinate too much, this attitude will also pull you down. Besides, making up excuses for not being able to accomplish something is totally wrong.
  8. Too much multitasking and very little single tasking can seriously affect your productivity. If you are taking in and doing too many things, you will find yourself being pulled away from your actual goals.
  9.  You are too afraid to fail, that’s why you think of several strategies to succeed. But in reality, instead of being led to one major achievement, you end up being a major collector of failed projects and tasks. Failure should not be taken negatively. Failure should be your fuel to propel you towards success.
  10. Lack of strict rules and work ethics. The thing here is that, you should always have to have a strict set of rules to make sure that you and your team would be able to move according to your original plans.

Certainly, you can add more to this list. Just think about your old work practices that didn’t seem to work to your advantage. And now that you know what you have to avoid or what causes you and your work to stagnate, it’s up to you to work on things the right way.