How to Overcome Perfectionist Procrastination [ELR: 004]

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Weekly affirmation: "I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection." -Emily Ley


What is perfectionist procrastination?

Perfectionist procrastination is the idea of avoiding or delaying something because you want it to be perfect. I did this A LOT in school when I had a big assignment or paper due. I would want it to be "perfect" so I would delay finishing it or turning it in because I wanted to review it again or do some more research.

And then I realized this habit seeped into my adult life, especially blogging. Even now, I have an entire folder of "draft" posts that are mostly finished, but I have not hit publish because I want to review them more. I procrastinate in releasing them to the world because I want them to be incredible, amazing, and flawless.

I had to realize that the idea of "perfection" is not attainable. Society inundates us with the idea of being perfect, but that simply isn't realistic. If we, instead, hold ourselves to a standard of grace, instead of perfection, we allow ourselves the freedom to deliver our final product without second guessing ourselves or worrying about our flaws.

Plus, procrastination is nothing more than focusing on your fears instead of focusing on your desires. I know there have been times I fear completing a project because I don't want to be judged on the results, whether it is a failure or a success. 

So how do we overcome perfectionist procrastination?

1. Use positive affirmations to change your mindset

I wake up everyday reminding myself that "I am good enough" and "I have the skills I need to accomplish my goals". These positive affirmations give me to confidence in myself that I need in order to banish the doubt in my head.

2. Set a hard deadline

Give yourself a hard and fast deadline to complete your project or goal, and do not compromise. This will retrain your procrastinating mind to get to work because you want to give your best.

3. Enlist an accountability partner

Find someone you love and trust who may be on the same journey as you to be your accountability partner. Tell them your goals and give them your deadlines so they can keep you honest. They won't take no for an answer when they ask you if you have met your deadlines, so be ready for them to push you!

How do you retrain your brain to overcome perfectionist procrastination?