Why perfection is procrastination’s best friend; 6 easy steps to stop procrastinating

Apr 21, 2016 | Well-being

One of the most common “ah but’s” I hear people saying is that they are waiting for everything “to be just right” before doing whatever it is they are procrastinating about.

I think it is something we are all guilty of at some point in our lives in some shape or form. Whether it is saving that new item of clothing for that perfect day, that new notebook or the bigger things like taking a new path, or starting a challenge.

Phrases like ‘I need to read all these things first’ or ‘I need to do that training course first’ or ‘I need to …. before I can start my diet’ are just excuses we tell ourselves. They are a ‘reason’ to keep you in your comfort zone and not try new things. Allowing you to wait for that perfect moment before you start.

This quote from Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly really captures the danger of allowing the pursuit of perfection to be your primary focus;


words from Brene Brown


Stop waiting for that ‘perfect moment’ and make your own perfect

The other day I was contemplating a new cycle route, but then started the “aah but” started….it’s actually really cold, that wind is quite strong, it is later than I thought….I heard myself and realised they were excuses. I knew I’d be really frustrated if I just did the easy option. So I took the plunge…and apart from getting a little bit lost, I felt great. I’d done it. Not my fastest ride, but speed can come later. I started. I stopped waiting for the perfect moment.

This is the same for every part of life. Work, business, relationships, well-being.  You will always be waiting and holding back if you are striving for a ‘perfect moment’. Since I recognised this thinking in myself, I now approach business and life as an ever evolving journey that I’m taking part in rather than waiting for that mystical perfect moment that will never appear. I’m making my own perfect.

So are you going to join me? Jump off the sidelines and give it a go? Make your own perfect rather than waiting for one to find you?

6 steps to follow to say good bye to perfection and procrastination:

  1. What are you procrastinating about at the moment? What is it that you are teetering on the edge of starting, but keep standing back from?
  2. Write down all your common “ah buts” for the thing that you are procrastinating about. You need to be really honest with yourself here. No holding back!
  3. What do you actually want to achieve in this area? Why? What’s it all about? Why is it important?
  4. What will the costs be if you keep waiting for the “perfect moment”? How will things be better when you have started it?
  5. With your answers to number 3 & 4 in mind, take your “ah but” list and give it a serious talking to! What can the “go getter” you respond to the “ah but” you? For each one, think of an alternative argument/phrase.
  6. Every time an “ah but” sticks it’s head up – tell it to do one, with your “go getter” responses. Can you share your “ah buts” and “go getter” responses with someone you trust to support you in kicking the procrastination into touch?

Enjoy the feeling of getting started and moving out of the hold of perfection and procrastination! Share your progress! Sharing and celebrating it, keeps it going.

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