Progress Over Perfection: The Fix to Perfectionism Procrastination

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Progress Over Perfection

If you’re like me (and you probably are, because you’re reading this), you’re a bit of a perfectionist, maybe not in all areas of your life, but where it counts, you want everything to be perfect. Because that’s how it should be right?


I mean it’s not wrong, of course, we have to strive to be as close as perfect in every way of our life, but you see… chasing the perfect outcome, or obsessing over the little things, stops us from actually doing the thing in the first place or making any tangible progress towards our goals.

I have a bit of OCD so sure, I might be a bit more inclined to be clinical over every logo I design, and want it to be pixel-perfect… but I’ve realized that in my work and indeed in life overall, wasting precious time on things that aren’t really that important isn’t the way to move forward.

Is a pixel-perfect logo or ad going to help me land more users, leads, clients, traffic, and sales? No… not really, I mean sure, it might look a bit better but overall if you’re the product, or service is lacking, you can’t just have a nice design and rely on it for making bank. This is an example from my line of work: digital marketing. But it can be applied to almost every aspect of our lives.

So many times we get hung up on things that don’t really matter (but we think they do), when in reality, the success and bulk of results come from things that aren’t really that looked upon.

There’s this rule called 80/20, which means that 80 percent of your results or success in something comes from 20% of your effort…

And it’s kinda true…

I’ve seen this many times with my work when I was obsessing over certain types of ads and landing pages and trying to make them look great, ultimately they will fail anyway… the ones that I didn’t do too much work on, and I just released them (on time), brought me more results than previous ones.

And that’s the key point… on time. Because when we try to make everything perfect, we waste precious time that can be otherwise utilized and optimized for doing something else that is more important, or why not, taking time off to focus on personal goals and our family or making someone happy. Because really, in life, nothing is more important than those things (God is first though).

Ok so now, if you’ve found yourself in this situation, of being a perfectionist procrastinator, what should you do and how do you get out of it? Here are some of my tips:

1. Just Hit Publish

Just hit publish

Ok, not all of you are blog writers and digital marketers, but this is an easy concept to understand, taken from my day to day life.

You see when I’m trying to create the most perfect and greatest article out there, sometimes I lose a ton of time on things that don’t matter, like selecting a nice picture, or fixing all the grammatical errors, or rewriting certain paragraphs until I’m satisfied with how it all comes up together.

But lately, I’ve started to chill a bit, and just simply hit publish, and put the article out there for everyone to read. Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t try to make it good and interesting, it just means that instead of obsessing over an image or bolding certain words, I’d rather have the article out there for people to read and enjoy, so that I can move on and either start writing another one or do other things.

So in your line of work, or indeed in your own personal projects, if you find yourself trying to make everything perfect, you should slow down for a bit, analyze what’s really important (the meat of the article in my example), and just release it, so that you can move and work on things that matter more.

2. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection

focus on progress not perfection

Remember that first dish you attempted to cook entirely on your own?

Maybe it wasn’t a Michelin-star masterpiece, perhaps the texture wasn’t quite right, or maybe there might have been a slight charring incident (hey, burnt offerings happen to the best of us!).

But guess what? It was a meal. It nourished your body. It was a step forward.

Here’s the thing: progress, not perfection, is the fuel that propels us towards our goals. Don’t get bogged down in the details. Celebrate the small victories – finally mastering that tricky recipe, whipping up a healthy lunch that doesn’t involve takeout, trying a new flavor combination that actually tastes good.

Every step, no matter how imperfect, takes you closer to becoming a confident cook in the kitchen, and overall in life.

3. Embrace the “Good Enough” Zone

Good enough

We all have that nagging voice in our heads telling us our work isn’t good enough. But guess what?

Striving for absolute perfection is a recipe for frustration.

Think about that first time you changed your car’s oil yourself (maybe it took a little longer than expected, and there might have been a slight oil splatter situation, but hey, you saved money and learned a new skill!).

Maybe it was the time you learned a new song on the guitar (a few missed chords here and there, but the melody was recognizable!). Or perhaps it was planting your first vegetable garden (the rows weren’t laser-straight, but those tomatoes were delicious!).

The same goes for your goals. Is your hand-painted birthday card heartfelt and creative? Great! Gift it with a good heart! Did your DIY bookshelf hold all your favorite paperbacks? Awesome! Put it to good use!

Is your first attempt at a new gym routine a little wobbly? No worries! You’re still getting stronger and more conditioned. Remember, you can always refine and improve later. Sometimes, “done” is a thousand times better than waiting for perfect.

Note: This doesn’t mean your work, service, or whatever else should lacking, it’s not about delivering mediocre work, rather it’s more about not obsessing over the little things.

4. The Power of Deadlines (Even Self-Imposed Ones)

use deadlines to stop perfectionism procrastination

Perfectionists often struggle with deadlines, using them as an excuse to keep tinkering and tweaking. Flip the script!

Set realistic deadlines for yourself and stick to them. This will force you to prioritize and focus on the essential elements. Think of deadlines as your launchpad, propelling you forward and preventing you from getting stuck in the pre-launch phase forever.

Here are some tools to help you set deadlines and sticking to them:

  • To-Do List Apps: Utilize apps like Todoist to set clear deadlines and goals for your projects. Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable steps to make them less overwhelming.
  • Pomodoro Technique: Feeling intimidated by a long to-do list? Try the Pomodoro Technique! Use a free online Pomodoro timer set it for 25 minutes and focus intensely on one task. When the timer goes off, reward yourself with a short break. Repeat this cycle for several rounds to make steady progress without burnout.

5. Celebrate Your Imperfections

embrace the imperfection

Let’s be honest, sometimes the “imperfect” stuff is the most endearing. Think about your favorite band’s early recordings – the raw energy and passion are undeniable, even if the sound quality isn’t top-notch.

Embrace your imperfections! They add a touch of authenticity and personality to your work.

Remember, progress isn’t about achieving flawless results; it’s about consistent action and the willingness to learn and grow.

So, take a deep breath, let go of the need for perfection, and embrace the messy, beautiful journey towards your goals!


The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and to discuss the risks and benefits of any treatment.


By Stephen M.

Stephen Montagne is an entrepreneur, writer, and digital marketer dedicated to helping others break free from addiction and live a healthier, more fulfilling life. Having conquered his own battles with binge drinking, smoking, vaping, watching nasty vids, and more, he understands the challenges firsthand. Stephen's personal transformation, including losing over 110 pounds (50 kilograms), fuels his passion for guiding others on their own journeys to recovery. Through his insightful writing and digital marketing expertise, he empowers individuals to embrace change and discover a life of purpose and well-being.

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