As a recovering perfectionist - and someone who sees how excess perfectionism sometimes leads to clutter and disorganization - I'm always interested in writings on the subject. Here are a few.
From Pitfalls of Perfectionism, an article in Psychology Today, by Hara Estroff Marano (via New Leaf News by Margaret Lukens):
You could say that perfectionism is a crime against humanity. ... Perfectionists, experts now know, are made and not born, commonly at an early age.From the book Refuse to Choose, by Barbara Sher:
Perfectionist need to admit the source of their conflict. ... Be honest. You're not working to your own high standards; you're working for someone's approval. It could be your parents, your high school English teacher, your boss - even your nosy neighbor. It could very well be a voice from your past. Wherever you find a perfectionist, a critic is not far away. But you can waste a perfectly good life trying to meet the standards of someone who thinks you're not good enough because they can't understand who you are.From the New York Times article Unhappy? Self-Critical? Maybe You're Just a Perfectionist by Benedict Carey:
"It’s natural for people to want to be perfect in a few things, say in their job — being a good editor or surgeon depends on not making mistakes," said Gordon L. Flett, a psychology professor at York University and an author of many of the studies. "It’s when it generalizes to other areas of life, home life, appearance, hobbies, that you begin to see real problems."From time management author Mark Forster:
Remember that procrastination is often caused by perfectionism. We make tasks unnecessarily large because we can’t accept that we are going to do them anything less than perfectly. The result is that we often don’t do them at all! Counteract this by asking yourself "What’s the minimum I can do here that’s good enough?"From the article Breaking the Perfection Habit, by Penelope Trunk:
Once I stopped worrying about doing something perfectly, I didn't have nearly as much reason for procrastination. It's easy to start something if you tell yourself that getting it done 70 percent perfect (as opposed to 100 percent) is OK.From Neil Gaiman, author of (among many things) the hugely popular comic book series The Sandman:
I just learned that my old friend Steve Whitaker is dead. Steve was a terrific artist and a good guy, kind, helpful, generous, all that -- he's best known in the US for his work colouring V for Vendetta.
He would have been the colourist on Sandman but he never turned in the sample pages he was given to colour, because they weren't quite perfect yet, and by the time he was nearly satisfied with them someone else already had the job. I learned a lot from that. I learned a lot about comics, about the history of comics, about strip cartoons, from Steve. I wish he'd been willing to draw more, to let it go, to feel more comfortable making mistakes in public. Mostly I wish he'd done more comics.
Going For Good Enough
The Six Styles of Procrastination
[image by Léoo™ / Leonard Cillo]