Hey, guys. All my life, I've been known as a responsible, hard-working person. I never procrastinate, and I always get the job done, no matter how difficult. But lately my obsession with having my work be perfect has really been stressing me out. I feel like I'm working too hard on things and have almost no time left to enjoy for myself.
When I was really young, my parents always told me to work my hardest and do my best. The problem is that my best takes a super long time and always makes me stressed out. I am a perfectionist and get really upset when I don't do as well as I hope. I always check my work multiple times (usually at least four) and redo things often when I'm not satisfied. Lately it's gotten really out of hand. I easily stay up until midnight working on important things, only stopping to eat and use the bathroom. I used to turn in things several days before the deadline, but lately I've been turning things in just on time because I work for such a long time on them to make them as perfect as I know I can. I'm working on things so much, I rarely have time left to meet up with my friends or just relax.
I know this stress isn't because of poor time management or procrastination, because I always start on things as soon as I get them and plan out checkpoints so I can check on my progress. Do any of you have advice on how I can get things done more efficiently and avoid this obsession with having my work be perfect?
I use to be like you. Like you, I don't procrastinate and I am always triple - quadruple checking my work. I still get like this every so often.
The hardest part I found was admitting that I wasn't perfect and everyone makes mistakes. It took me awhile to accept that. Once I learned that, I found myself willing to stop working on something and begin to enjoy myself.
Do you have someone that can check what you are working on? That helped me a lot. I found after working on something for hours or days, I become blinded and start second guessing myself. Have someone look over you work. They will offer you another set of eyes and give you an honest opinion.
Hope this helps :)
My sister is the same way, she'd study for a test for hours and still stress out. I'm only recently became more responsible :P grades came easy to me when I was younger so I got lazy and when effort was needed to keep them up.. I procrastinated and let A's slide to B's and C's.
I have general anxiety so I think I can lend some helpful info on the subject... STOP STRESSING! lol Take deep breathes, ask your self "What's going on right now? Am I ok? Is the world going to end if I don't get this one thing done perfectly?" in short - get some perspective. You seem very responsible, bright and creative.. I wouldn't worry so much about being perfect and learn to trust yourself. So long as you're confident in what you do and how you do it there is no need to quadruple check or spend an obscene amount of time on something. And know that even if you were to mess up ITS OK! You learn from it, let it go, don't let it drag you down.
Thanks for the help, Emmyann. I was sort of known as the one kid who everyone was afraid would do better than them back through elementary school, so part of me has always made me feel that I had to stay perfect. You're right; not getting one thing perfect isn't going to end the world. Making mistakes is the only way to learn from them. I need to focus on using my mistakes to remember that I'm not perfect rather than using them as an excuse to get angry at myself. Thanks for all the advice.