Thursday, June 27, 2013

Perfectionism Hurts Productivity

This morning I was feeling Blogger guilt.  That is what happens when a blogger does not feel they are posting often enough.  As I thought about it and looked at some notes on possible blog entries I was working on, I realized the reason I was not posting was perfectionism (even though this blog is far from perfect - just ask some of my proof reading friends (and I do greatly appreciate it when a reader points out something that needs fixing).
 
I was trying to coach a friend on time management and sent him the following email:
 
When I have skills I need to master, I set myself up with a deliberate learning system.  Some things I have done that work for me:

1 - I take every book on the topic that there is out of the library.

2 - as I read, I write notes.  I know you know how to study - you have a PhD. 

3  - I take CDs out.  I often have some car time that I am not on the phone and even with short trips to work, I can get through some.  And I also listen on some of my exercise (this is actually a time management trick - the power of while)

4 - Spend 25 minutes per day studying the skill.  It sounds like little time but it quickly adds up.  (Interestingly, this is also a time management technique that I have found effective - the Pomodoro system.  Look it up and see if it might be one you try)

5 - meet with mentors.  You do not need a formal mentoring program - just ask people you think who might have something to teach you.  Pick up a few tips.

6 - repeating over and over that "I am not a good time manager" simply reinforces it in your mind.  It also gives you an excuse "oh - don't mind me, I am always late".  Change your self talk to "that's not like me...".  Sounds crazy but it really does work.
 
7 - attend seminars
 
8 - sign up for time management blogs and newsletters.  (interestingly, at one time, more than half my blog entries were on time management - hence the blog name - Time Leadership)

I was not always good at itt.  That is why I ended up writing a book on Time Management.  It all started with a learning project.

1 Comments:

At 12:38 PM, Blogger James Strock said...

Terrific reminder--and love the title of your post.

Brings to mind Churchill's admonition: "Perfection is spelled P-A-R-A-L-Y-S-I-S."

:-)

 

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