Question of the Day: Are You a Perfectionist?

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source: ladybugbkt

source: ladybugbkt

As we’ve started talking about home management notebooks this week, a lot of you have said, “I’ve been meaning to start one, but…” It got me thinking about the things get between us and getting organized. I know my perfectionism is an obstacle in my own life because I never want to start something unless I have the time, money or skill to make it absolutely perfect and complete.

What about you?

Are you a perfectionist? Is it an obstacle that gets in the way of getting organized?

Do you subconsciously think that if something isn’t perfect, it’s a waste of time, money or energy?

How do you overcome those feelings of perfectionism to get things done?

What other things prevent you from taking that first step?

I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

16 Responses to “ Question of the Day: Are You a Perfectionist? ”

  1. LOL, I have to laugh because I think one of the reasons I like blogging so much is because I can easily edit myself. My “perfectionist tendencies” kept me from keeping a journal when I was younger. I would hate it if I had to cross something out or mess something up. I had several journals with just a page or two written in it. I actually went through a time where I re-wrote homework assignments because I messed one word up. That is probably borderline OCD!
    Tanna @ Complete Organizing Solutions´s last blog ..5 Storage Ideas Straight From The Recycle Bin My ComLuv Profile

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  2. *Sigh* Yes … I’m a perfectionist. It’s very difficult for me to begin projects if I don’t think I’ll be able to do them perfectly. I am exactly the person you are talking about. I haven’t begun my home management notebook even though I VERY MUCH want to. Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself. :)
    Nicki at Domestic Cents´s last blog ..Week Of Frugal Fall Ideas: Cinnamon Pinecones My ComLuv Profile

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  3. I am a perfectionist also, and it keeps me from starting projects. Just like you said, if I think I won’t have time to finish it & make it “perfect,” then I won’t start it.

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  4. I totally have that problem! I have wanted to scrapbook many times but have never started for the fear of not having the “perfect” page to store my photos. I also know my perfectionist attitude prohibits me from even trying some things because I don’t want to fail. I’m working on it – but man it’s hard sometimes to accept that it’s ok if it’s not perfect.

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  5. that’s me. totally. hit my nail on the head.

    i keep a list of projects i want to complete and never begin half of them for the reasons you named. ugh. makes me nuts but i just can’t seem to get over that huge hurdle.
    Monica (peapodsquadmom)´s last blog ..Thank Goodness for Ham Sandwiches My ComLuv Profile

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  6. If you saw my office, you wouldn’t imagine that I’m a perfectionist! But – it’s that worry of not doing it ‘right’ – not finding the ‘best’ way to sort, file, flag for follow-up – that leads me to be a piler…. My husband has asked me a couple of times in the last week to clean off my desk. It must be getting bad….
    RLR´s last blog ..No words…. My ComLuv Profile

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  7. I am MOST DEFINITELY a perfectionist! My house is really messy, though, so it probably doesn’t look like it. I struggle all the time with feeling “behind”. I feel behind with organizing my coupons, decorating my house, staying on top of my finances, email, everything!

    I think it’s a huge obstacle for me because I get so overwhelmed by everything and think that I can’t even get started because I won’t be able to finish it exactly the way that I’d want to (especially with being distracted by my baby).

    The few times that I manage to overcome this, I do it the FlyLady way: set my timer for 15 minutes and just go! Also, when I really get focused on cleaning/organizing, I work and work and work until I just get too tired to continue. Usually I just get a burst of energy that keeps me going for a while, and my husband knows to not interrupt me during that time.

    I hate being a perfectionist, but I don’t know how to not be one, and then I get anxious about wanting to NOT be a perfectionist. It’s a vicious cycle.

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  8. YES YES YES to all of the above. I am the worst at – if I can’t do it right I just won’t do it. Lists and lists of ideas for projects I don’t have the time to do right, so I don’t do it all.

    And then I feel like a failure for something I haven’t even started.

    FlyLady is working for me at home (babysteps). And GTD is helping at work (I LOVE EVERNOTE).

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  9. I need to have a clear picture of the end goal before I’m comfortable starting. Needless to say this prevents me from starting a lot of things! I find I think about things for a LONG time before actually doing them, particularly something that’s going to stick around for awhile. I’m trying to do things with small steps and the idea of using binders is appealing because if I’m not happy with it I can easily remove/rearrange/redo.
    Tessa´s last blog ..Early morning excitement My ComLuv Profile

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  10. I still don’t get the concept of not getting things done = being a perfectionist. If I have to wonder, does that mean I am not a perfectionist? I consider a perfectionist as one with a spotless “perfect” home, not someone like me with a messy house and a kazillion unfinished things to do. But there is something that stops me from starting one of the five home management notebooks I have wanted to start!

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  11. I’m a perfectionist, but in a rather weird way. If I can’t accomplish something exactly in the manner I’ve envisioned, I give up and ignore it. Consequently, there’s always “an elephant in the middle of the room” in the form of unfinished projects, waylaid plans, and unaccomplished goals.

    I’ve reached a now-or-never point in my life, so I am determined to become more organized and productive. This requires coming to grips with my perfectionism by channeling it into effective and energetic accomplishment.

    Thanks, Mandi, for helping me in my quest!
    Mihla´s last blog ..Is it ever too late? My ComLuv Profile

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  12. I know I am a perfectionist yet to look at my house you wouldn’t know it. If I can’t do it just right I get overwhelmed and quit. Slowly but surely I am trying to let go and let God. One step at a time realize it doesn’t have to be perfect just get done.
    Desiree´s last blog ..WHY My ComLuv Profile

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  13. [...] Question of the Day: Are You a Perfectionist? [...]

  14. [...] Question of the Day: Are You a Perfectionist? [...]

  15. I can identify with every one of these comments! My guess is those of us that read this blog are all perfectionists. Its therapy for me to read how to get organized. Weird, I know!

    I never realized I was a perfectionist until a friend of mine (a neurologist, of all things!) recently told me I was. Since my house is messy more often than clean, I never thought of myself this way. But, after she told me this, I realized she was spot on.

    Realizing this was my issue has helped me tremendously. I guess knowing your problem is half the battle. Now I am working hard to overcome this. I focus on productivity and not perfectionism (most days!) and I find myself more at peace with things not being just “perfect.”

    Thanks Mandi for the blog. It is one of my all time favorites!
    Robyn´s last blog ..Project: "Food Allergy Friendship" My ComLuv Profile

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  16. I know I am a perfectionist…always wonder how many people feel like me. Some people think I am lazy but the truth is I hate to clean a room and then come back later to find someone ruined it. Like the kitchen – last weekend I cleaned the kitchen – wiped down the cabinet doors, counters, fridge, pantry, etc. Last night I went into the kitchen and found someone had splashed Kool-aid all over the wall, cabinet and counter…they didn’t even bother to wipe it up. I get frustrated because all my hard work was just blown off…like someone didn’t even care that I took the time to make it nice…how do you cope with this? I personally wanted to explode all over my family…I didn’t though…because I know its part of my perfectionism disease.
    Wanda Rohlfing´s last blog ..About "The Shambled Shack" My ComLuv Profile

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