Perfectionism can lead to procrastination; how do we get started?

It’s easy to get stalled out by perfectionism. Perfection can keep you from finishing, but it can also keep you from starting. That’s why I’ve embraced the following saying:

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.

Quote on painted background: Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. Image by Kit Dunsmore

To me, it’s an anti-perfectionist war cry, in complete conflict with the more usual version of the saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

When I am unsure how to proceed or anxious about an outcome, I procrastinate. Sometimes giving myself permission to lower the bar, to do something badly, is the only way to get me to do it at all.

Do you struggle to get started on things? How do you overcome your desire to procrastinate?

8 thoughts on “Fight Perfectionism: Lower the Bar”

    1. I envy you! I am the queen of I’ll Get To That Later, and it can be costly! Plus the stress of not getting the thing done never goes away.

      1. I’m a bit of both. Perfectionism can get a bit in my way, but if I just get past that little barrier and just jump in and get it over with I feel so much better.

      2. I know that getting it done (or at least started) is a huge relief, yet I still resist getting under way. So making a point of lowering the bar really helps me.

  1. I just recently read something about overcoming procrastination. I wish I could remember where, but the basic idea was that starting is the hardest part. So if you can tell yourself you just have to start – like devote 10 focused minutes on whatever it is – most likely once you start, you’ll keep going. I have found this useful for things I REALLY don’t want to do – if you know you only have to devote a few minutes to it, it’s easier to suck it up and start, and then usually once it’s started, I just want to push through to get it done.

    1. I have used this strategy, too, and it really does work. Even if I only do the ten minutes I promised, I feel better because I have started, and it’s easier to come back and finish. I’m always looking for ways to overcome procrastination, but apparently no one has a way to get rid of the tendency to procrastinate. Only ways to overcome it. 😉

      1. It’s also human nature to ignore what is true about ourselves and try to change our very nature… So I guess this all makes sense. 😉

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