I used to think being a perfectionist was a good thing to run a freelance business, until just recently. I thought having a compulsion to complete and re-do every task until it was completely faultless was cool. Then, it never mattered to me if I took longer time than was necessary on any task. I was practically so nailed to every task that I barely had time for other things. But, is that the best life a freelancer can live?
Definitely, not! I soon discovered that being a perfectionist was never the best way to run a freelance business. Why is this so? You see the point is that, every freelancer is selling their time to the clients they work with. By so doing, spending too much time on a particular project all in the name of making it faultless, or working it to perfection, will not help you make the best use of your time. Don’t get me wrong! Am not asking you to compromise quality for you to beat deadline. Of course, you can alter your work habits without sacrificing standards and become more efficient in it. On the other hand, being too meticulous might take up more valuable time than you can imagine. Let’s discuss some tips to help you get over your obsessive tendencies of a perfectionist’s.
Tackle the Real Problem
Let’s face the fact. Perfectionist does not really signify the passion to be meticulous. Instead, it is a sign of the fear to make mistakes or disappoint others. It is also the fear of failure and even success too. If every perfectionist digs deep into their heart, they won’t take long to discover that the main reason why they circle endlessly on a project is because of FEAR ! They could be worried about missing a deadline, or anxious about working with a new client on a project. Fear could come in any forms and attack a freelancer’s productivity and, by extension, the amount of time they spend on doing that task which causes fear.
Now, that we know that fear is often the cause why some freelancers would want to be perfectionists, how do we deal with it? Simple, stare fear in the face and deal with it! Quite miraculously, it will lose its grips on you so that you can work productively and make the best use of your time.
Define Your Limits
It could be difficult sometimes to know when you have gone beyond the set limits. For example, when you are in the heat of an assignment, you maybe tempted that you may have to spend more time than usual researching, revising or testing doing something far higher than your set limits. Only when you are almost done with your extra stuff will you realise that over 50% of the work wasn’t necessary– what a complete waste of time!
This could mean that your perfectionistic tendencies may be controlling you. You must learn to nip time-wasting activities in the board. Take a deep breath and relax for more inspiration to come your way. But you just must not go beyond the time effort limits you have set for yourself. By the way, you can possibly go the extra mile and do the best you can on every project without wasting time or being a perfectionist! That is definitely the most advisable way to do things.
Appreciate the Value of Mistakes
Do the best you can on every project you do as a freelancer and meet your client’s quality expectations. However, learn to appreciate the fact that you are human and are prone to making mistakes. If you are rebuked for a mistake made, try to look into it with the intention to make things right. You can’t be perfect– even constant practice won’t make you perfect, except that it affords you the opportunity to be better in what you do!
Even the so-called experts are not perfect since they make mistakes, at least sometimes. You too are bound to face mistakes in your life as a freelancer working from home.
However, your mistakes could become the begining of a great achievement if you could learn from them! Projects that went wrong produced beautiful inventions such as microwave, heart pacemakers, the broad-spectrum antibiotic called “penicillin” and other benefits, which are now helping billions of people worldwide. Your own imperfect projects too might be for a good reason not yet discovered! Do not burn yourself out in the name of becoming a perfectionist. Instead, you should strive to achieve greatness by learning from the mistakes made. You must strive to meet your client’s goals within the allotted time. Hardwork, zeal professionalism are truly the essential ingredients to run your freelance business instead of perfectionism.