Blog,  Mind,  Motivation

The Problem of Perfectionism and “Product” Goals

Recently, I was talking to a friend about goals. We all have them.

And if you don’t, get yourself some.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, By iuriimotov

But I digress…As we were sharing our goals, she asked me a simple question about one of mine. She asked me when the book I’m working on will be published.

I had no response. Even worse, I hadn’t given enough thought or planning on it to know the answer.

The truth is, I feel like it’ll never be done. The finish line seems so far in the distance that I sometimes forget it’s there. I actually stop moving toward it.

The truth is, I often go months at a time without working on it because I’ve temporarily given up on the goal.

That’s a problem.

I’ve always thought I do a decent job setting and working toward my goals. But through conversation, I realized that publishing my book is one goal I’ve been badly neglecting.

Why?

The “Product” Goal

I think it has a lot to do with the type of goal and a bad case of perfectionism. As a recovering perfectionist, there are certain goals a person with perfectionist tendencies is more likely to abandon, neglect, or prolong.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, By TanyaJoy

The type of goals I’m talking about are the ones that end up as an actual product we only get one shot at completing. We want that product to be perfect. But in chasing for perfection, it’s difficult to see the finish line. The perfection we’re after doesn’t really have a finish line. So our goal to complete said product ends up being abandoned, neglected, or prolonged. This can happen without us realizing it.

To make matters worse, when we don’t put a time stamp on these “product” goals, the likelihood of them being procrastinated almost becomes a given.

Do you have a product goal you’ve been pushing off?

Takeaway

I came to the sobering conclusion that I need to put a structured timeline and completion date on all my personal “product” goals. Otherwise, knowing me, they’ll never get done.

Now, this is not to say we throw quality out the window along with perfection in order to deliver a crappy product within a reasonable time. We should still do the best we can. However, the point I’m making is that it’s especially important to have a structured timeline and completion date, particularly on product goals.

What happens when we don’t do this?

From my own experience, other things will take priority. What begins as us being afraid to complete something that might not be perfect or good ends up being us not having time to work on it at all. Our product goal gets pushed to the back burner enough for other things to crowd up in front of it. So, not having time becomes yet another reason it continues to not only be pushed back but also remain there.

That said, I’ve had a slight shift in priorities over the past week or so. Hence, the long delay since my last post.

I’ve been spending more time prioritizing the writing I do outside of this blog, which is publishing a book. It happens to be a goal that’s been pushed so far into the back burner that it’s fallen off the heat.

If you also have a product goal that’s been abandoned, neglected, or prolonged, it’s time for us to reignite the fire under it. Let’s come up with a timeline and strive to make progress toward “best-effort” completion. Not perfection.

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