Your Perfectionism is Just Fancy Procrastination

Due to the nature of this blog, I tend to read many self-help books, study guides, productivity blogs, and so on.  While I may not agree with everything out there, I regularly find writing that I totally agree with; the advice is sound.

But I’m reading up for research purposes and to find quality links and pearls of wisdom that I hadn’t thought about myself.  Your reasons for reading study tips and advice should be rather different to this.

Are you happy with your overall techniques?  Do you mainly read advice and find yourself in agreement with it, or does it help you contemplate change?  Do you spend too much time reading up on self-help, rather than helping yourself?

I recently had a discussion with a friend about the meaning of ‘doing the right thing’.  While it was based on personal choices, rather than working techniques, the conclusion can work on either level.  We concluded that our personal positions are often based on our individual perceptions of what is right and wrong.  But in the general, overall sense, nothing is as certain as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  Because this leaves room for doubt in our minds, we end up fuelling a relentless pursuit of perfection.

photo by yosmer

Doughnuts…so right or so wrong?

So today, I want to give you one piece of advice:

  • When you’re relatively in touch with your academic work and have a keen grasp on what matters and what suits you…STOP looking for more advice and START working.

You may read a lot of tips that tell you to “Just do it”, because starting is often the best way to find a voice and explore what’s on your mind.  But this isn’t the same thing.

The difference is that you have been looking to further yourself and, in turn, have positively developed.  The likelihood is that you already have started “just doing it”, but you can probably do it a lot faster now if you focused on that task alone.

With a quality set of techniques in the bag, now is the time to crack on.  If you insist upon perfection, you will end up wasting more time that the period before you had a focused set of study techniques.

Some near perfect outcomes can only occur through imperfection.  The reason being: there is no such thing as perfect.

The story of a professor who has just solved a 140-year-old mathematical puzzle has nothing to do with a ‘perfect’ working environment.  He was simply sitting in a lecture, letting his mind wander as he grew bored.  You can’t ask for something quite so perfect through such unlikely circumstances.

You have it in you to create your own eureka moments.  So if you’re pretty happy with the way you get on with your academic work, let the creative and practical juices flow and let it take you through glorious (im)perfection.

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