Blog updates chat: Perfectionism and Procrastination

Decorative watercolor image: Ball creature with cute eyes smiling, looking straight at you through a keyhole. Some trees and more ball creatures on the background.

Hello sweeties, how are you?. It’s been a while since the last time I talked to you. I’m perfectly fine, maybe even better than the last time I made a post! So the reason I haven’t posted is something very common indeed: Perfectionism and Procrastination. Today I want to tell you how they can hinder your growth and what can you do about it.

We all know that perfection doesn’t exist, yet we strive for it. Sometimes, it leads us to disappointment and feelings of “not being good enough”. Other times, it paralyzes us.

Have you heard the term “Analysis paralysis”? That’s what happens when we over-analyze a situation, making it more complex than what it really is. As a result, we end up with so many variables that it’s impossible to make a decision. In the end, no choice is ever made. Nothing happens.

I believe procrastination is the side-kick of perfectionism. When we start thinking about all the blurry steps we need to take to achieve something, we feel overwhelmed. It’s like saying: “I don’t think I have what it takes (insert blurry list of unreal requirements) to do X today” and then we start doing the dishes while pretending the deadline doesn’t exist.

So, over the past weeks I have been thinking (and reading) about how to tackle both issues at once, here is my first aid kit:

  1. Create habits
    • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a good read
    • Start small, but be consistent. Consistency is THE key.
  2. Organize
    • When overwhelmed by tasks, take a breath and do an Eisenhower Matrix (Urgent vs. Important)
    • Keep a wall calendar where you can clearly see your tasks (DIY erasable calendar)
    • Set your priorities straight, instead of saying “I don’t have time to do X”, make time for it!. I recommend Laura Vanderkam’s TED talk.
  3. Motivate yourself
    • Our brain resists change, that’s a fact, but we can coerce it to cooperate if we bribe it!. Set tiny goals at first and give yourself a reward right away after finishing your task. Tiny goals, tiny rewards. Long goals, small “milestone” rewards and big one at the end
  4. Just do it!
    • It actually works. I have seen it in arts and sports as well. When you are in front of a white page, it’s scary and your brain tells you you’ll mess it up. What I have learned is: FAIL ON PURPOSE. Write a few crappy paragrahs with typos and usnaihd blahe. Just keep writing, realize that imperfection is part of the process, and edit later.

That’s it! I started applying these steps to my Instagram account where I share mostly art. It has worked amazingly well, so I will start applying them to my baby blog which I love so much and neglected in pursue of a perfect child. I have so many books I need to share with you!! So. many. awesome. books. Be prepared šŸ˜‰

Take care and have a wonderful day!
Bug

About Alicia

I enjoy sharing my love for good books with other people. I wish you can find the type of books meant for you. Art is my passion. Both activities allow me to travel to imaginary places, learn, grow and share my journey with others. Feel free to join me, I love company.

10 comments

  1. I’m eternally grateful for posts like this. They make me realise that I’m not the only, the first or the last one to suffer from all the pressure I put myself under and actually motivate me to change something about myself and the way I handle things. Thank you so, so much ā¤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurel White

    Thank you for this! I always have a plan, I can change it at any time but for me it starts with making a plan. My biggest stumbling block is my health but you have given me a great idea. When my health upsets my consistency, I just need to break the task into smaller pieces to stay at it instead of getting derailed completely and losing momentum and confidence. YAY!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!! sounds great that you start with a plan. Not sure where I read it… but someone said that action (or inaction) starts from our thoughts. If we can picture ourselves in our head doing certain task, it is easier to actually do it. I have struggled with my body betraying me too. Before, I used to push myself but yeah nope, it was like a mouse trying to move an elephant by cheer perseverance. That usually ended up in depression. What have worked for me is the idea you just mentioned of breaking it into smaller pieces, or “just keep the core”. If I wanted to make a 100 faces challenge and body says “nope”, I focus on the fact that I want to learn to draw faces, so I decide to watch 15 minutes of tutorials. While the task changed, it still feels like I am doing progress instead of giving up completely. Which is one of the annoyances of having a chronic illness; feeling like you need to give up on plenty of things. Thank you for chatting with me and have a wonderful weekend my friend!! ā¤ ā¤

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  3. This is brilliant advice! I do struggle a lot of with both concepts – that’s why you don’t see me post too often (I prefer quality over quantity) but sometimes it may get a bit too much as I can’t bring myself to post something until I’ve revised it 500 times. This is why I also can’t schedule a lot of posts because I never feel like they’re ready yet to be seen by the world… Which makes my posting not very consistent hahaha
    I’ll have to check out that book and TED talk. Really loving that type of reading and format at the moment! Thanks so much for sharing, Alicia ā¤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sophie!! I totally understand the feeling of wanting to deliver something high quality and just make sure we give our very best (and 10% more!). Oh! I could also recommend you “Show your work by Austin Kleon” (review coming soon) šŸ˜‰ Btw, Your posts are suuuuperb! also your bookstagram, I can see how much love and care you put into them!. I’m pretty sure your other readers can see that as well, you are doing great! šŸ˜€

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      • Oooh thanks so much! I’ll try and pick it up while I’m on my non-fiction reading spree šŸ™‚
        Aw thank you, darling ā¤ That's incredibly sweet of you!
        I've tried polishing my bookstagram as of late, it was really bothering me not having a proper theme xD
        You're too lovely ā¤ ā¤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. In the past I’ve fallen prey to the perfectionism and procrastination cycle and have always overcome it by organisation and small goals, setting up a progress chart and tracking statistical data.It really does work! Forming everything into a habitual daily habit. Doing priority tasks first… my only problem now is having so many irons in the fire – not having enough time – to achieve things quickly enough.But it is a rush to look at a fully completed list. See the end of writing a novel in sight. Simple things, I know. But it keeps me engaged and happy with my work. Great post. All the points you’ve raised are bang on! Keep up the good work šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Casey! So glad to hear you have also find the way out of the cycle šŸ˜ I’m the same with having too many things at once, I feel like my head is a browser with soooo many tabs open at the same time, that it slows everything down!. A novel, how exciting! Everything starts as a simple thing and those are usually what gives us the most joy. So glad to be back yay! I missed chatting and sharing our experiences šŸ¤— šŸ’—

      Liked by 1 person

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