Lowering the Bar to Fight Pefectionism

The last few days were ground breaking in terms of dealing with perfectionism.

One of the exercises Self Discipline in 10 Days suggested was to write a mediocre email to a friend - which hit home because I usually double and triple check all my emails.

I blew up the other day when making mistakes in cooking like I usually do, so I decided to cook  two meals where I said from the beginning - “I’m going to cook an average meal”.

The real ground breaking thing was doing it for work. Normally my writing is fine - but the problem is that I double and triple and quadruple check things to eternity because I think that “upon this one assignment the rest of my career lies.”

The problem with that mentality is that it makes me procrastinate - I get paralyzed. And in this case, there are other checks - The editor likes me, it’s a decent article already, I have good photography, the editor can reword things, I have a working relationship with the publication, and it’s going to be translated immediately into Chinese. It’s also an unknown publication in the West.

My career does not ride on this not in any way shape or form.

Yet I block my workflow for days trying to chip away at this.

So I wrote a rough draft, made a few changes, and that’s it. Done.I’m not saying I handed in a horrible article. It was good. But I ended up cutting out a lot of the mental stress that usually goes into the process.

Here’s what I need to work on - 1. make a list with specific small tasks. 2. do more of the “average task” exercises. 3. come up with a workflow. Another technique that I should nudge into motion is the idea of rewards that are partial points to a bigger reward.