Overcoming Perfection Paralysis Disorder (P.D.D.)

It’s the first sentence that always kills me. It’s the first line, the first chord, or, when I’m cleaning, actually picking up the vacuum that curtails my productivity. But after the initial step, hours pass like minutes. 

It's passion that makes diving in and working significantly easier (and considerably more rewarding.) Passion is the fire that allows me to stay alive through the Arctic winter that is my To-Do list. I've found that a connection or appreciation allows me to conquer the most mundane, and even dreadful of topics with my whole heart and soul. 

But giving 100% is both a gift and a curse. "All or Nothing" is so hard-wired in my brain that I’ve neglected to undertake large tasks, such end-of-novel papers in High School, because my schedule made it physically impossible to provide my undivided attention. I've spent years reprogramming my brain to accept that perfection isn't always attainable, and something is better than nothing.

But even when I'm so captivated by my work that the world around me no longer seems to exist, perfection still hinders me. I fixate on unimportant garnishes when I know cranking out a rough draft and revising is a much more effective method. Hundreds if not thousands of unfinished projects lay in my brain, notebooks, and computer archives with nothing to show. The wasted time and energy makes me sicker than Perfection Paralysis Disorder (P.P.D.) (I just made this up).

Perfect is an arbitrary term, and I'm done letting an inaccessible idea control me. From now on, I will track my growth by finishing projects and moving on to another. I will set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) Goals and hold myself accountable for reaching them. And when I find myself infatuated by minute details, I will put myself in someone's shoes who isn't mentally attached to the project.

Now I just have to sit down and do it.


So, what holds you back from productivity and what do you do to overcome it?