The Ugly Truth About Being a Perfectionist at Work


Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist? You may be prepared to work extra hours to make sure every piece of work is completed to the highest standard. You may meticulously check that every detail is correct or be unable to leave a task unfinished.

Having traits like these is by no means a bad thing, and employers certainly appreciate employees who have a strong work ethic. However, being a perfectionist at work can be harmful to your productivity.

If you’re spending too much time on making something perfect, you may lose sight of the bigger picture and purpose behind your work. Plus, if you’re having to put in extra hours and skip your lunchbreaks to achieve your high standards you are putting yourself at risk of burning out and neglecting your personal life.

Read on to discover the ugly truth about being a perfectionist at work and learn how to get the balance right.

You’ll struggle to feel satisfied with your work

If you are constantly striving for perfection you are unlikely to feel happy about what you do achieve. Being perfect and the best all the time is impossible, and we all have off days.

When you feel like you are starting to put yourself down and question your progress, take a step back to remind yourself what you have achieved so far. You can also speak to your boss about whether they are happy with how you are getting on. Spending less time worrying and more time getting the job done will help your productivity.

Making decisions is tough

Perfectionists tend to have a hard time making decisions. This is usually because they don’t want to make a mistake and worry about something going wrong. However, when this starts to affect your work and you are unable to make decisions for yourself you should recognise that you have a problem.

Employers want employees who can use their initiative, solve problems and be decisive. You’ll be making your manager’s job harder if you have to ask them about every decision and you’ll be hindering your own productivity.

You may be causing yourself unnecessary stress

While wanting your work to be of the highest standard is great, it shouldn’t be at the cost of your mental health. If you are consistently putting pressure on yourself to be perfect, you will experience higher levels of stress.

A little bit of stress and pressure is to be expected in the workplace and it can help us to get things done, however, a lot of stress is counter-productive. If you feel yourself panicking about your work, stop and ask yourself whether it is worth pushing yourself this much to achieve perfection. You’ll find that the answer is probably no.


1 Comment

  1. The perfect is definetely the enemy of the good, so we need to be aware whenever we spend too much time or there is a great amount of effort involved in some task, because many times is better to keep it simple and more efficient than try to do the best of the best and loose too much time and energy when something could be done with much less effort and achieve the same results.

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