Does a Desire for Perfection Cause Procrastination?

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desire for perfection cause procrastinationI do not think of myself as a Procrastinator. I prefer to call myself an Under-Estimator.  😉  This is how it used to be in my home. My husband and I would be going somewhere together. He’s calmly ready 15-30 minutes before the agreed time.

At 10 minutes before the agreed time, I’m playing catch-up and wondering why the item I just placed at a particular spot has disappeared, and even worse, how can 10 minutes fly by so quickly? My standard prelude to almost every departure was, “I’ll be right there.”

 Still a work in progress, but I’m a lot better. I’m quite proud of myself when I’m ready 5-10 minutes before the agreed time too.  Regardless of what I choose to call it, not giving myself enough time to be ready on time is a form of procrastination.

  • Why do we procrastinate when we know it causes added stress on our body and often leaves us angry and frustrated?
  • Are you late for appointments? Do you miss deadlines? Ignore tasks, even important ones?
  • Do you often find yourself putting off things you know you need to do? Even things that are in your own best interest?
  • Have you ever wanted something very much but found that it was challenging to take the first action step?
  • Does the desire for perfection cause procrastination?

    Procrastination can have a negative impact on your life in general, as well as relationships with others. Are you a business owner? Whether you’re a Solopreneur or in a partnership, business can be lost because deadlines are not met for yourself or for your clients, trust and confidence can be lost between you and your partner(s), as well as you and clients, and opportunities missed.

    The Desire for Perfection

    There is nothing wrong with having a desire to be perfect…within reason. Wouldn’t most of us want to be perfect if we had the choice?

    As a business owner, however, the desire for perfection can be paralyzing so that you fail to take action, or you start but fail to complete what you start. There are various reasons that the ‘perfectionist’ will give himself or herself to justify this lack of action. Some of these fall anywhere in the middle or directly on the following:
  • Fear that if your business does not succeed, as a person you will be perceived as a failure.
  • Fear that what you do is never good enough and so you spend countless hours revising the blog post, re-doing the ebook you created last week, deleting the audio because of one small slip-up, and sometimes never sharing your mind and attributes with the people who want to learn from you.
  • You continue to take classes and learn and learn, but never share because you feel you don’t know everything perfectly so you can’t coach others.
  • The desire for perfection can stifle creativity, one of the essential qualities of a successful entrepreneur. Wanting to stay perfectly ‘within the lines,’ could cause you to be inflexible rather than jumping off the beaten path and finding your own music.

During my corporate life, I did my best and gave 110%. If you’d asked me if I were a perfectionist at work, I would have replied that I was not. Yet, when I became an entrepreneur and started my online business, my fear of not appearing perfect prevented me from launching the products I created, or I would revise them so many times that it became a chore. A little book , “Take Action, Revise Later,” written by one of my mentors, Bob “The Teacher” Jenkins, four years ago changed my perspective.

What will it take to change your perspective and avoid the futile quest or desire for perfection so that you ignite your business and move forward?  Aristotle said, Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”  What not reflect on that for a moment?

My solution and mantra is now “Better done than perfect!” What will your new mantra be when you shake off the perfection paralysis?


If this article, in some way, reflects your challenge, let’s get together on the phone for a no sales pitch, no obligation conversation.  I’d love to share strategies and tips with you that helped me to overcome a challenge I did not recognize I had which kept me stuck. You may use the contact form at with “Procrastination Call” in the subject line.





Does a Desire for Perfection Cause Procrastination? — 14 Comments

  1. Oh yes I am a procrastinator supreme, although not so much with going out, but with the computer- well here I am commenting when i am meant to be working on a project before i have time out on a Sunday 🙂 I also now use the better done than perfect principle
    thanks for the distraction LOL
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…Creating Change by Coloring The World.My Profile

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      That’s funny, Suzie. You were just staying true to your personality. LOL. And I do it all the time too. OK, no more distractions, but I do thank you for leaving your comment and I’m glad you like my mantra.

  2. Well said Yvonne! I’ve never been much of a procrastinator – if anything I’m one of those annoying people who always arrive early. I will occasionally drag my feet if something I need/want is substantially outside of my comfort zone. On that score I lean a little more toward fear of falling flat on my face rather than worrying about perfection – but whatever label is applied it is still an avoidance tactic. Usually I let myself get away with it once or twice and then I’ll drop everything and dive in head first. I really like your mantra and I’ll have to come up with one for this as well. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Inspiring Life Lessons on the Art of IndividualityMy Profile

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Ah, Marquita, you sound like a dear friend in Port St. Lucie, FL. If I plan to go some place with her or meet her anywhere I mentally tell myself I need to be ready 15 minutes earlier than our agreed time. She was late once and I knew something had to be wrong…and there was. That’s a great reputation to have. Please share your mantra when you design your own.

  3. Yvonne, It sure used to for me. That is what held me back for years. Now, I just do it, and adjust as needed. Doing this for three months have move me forward by light years.
    Roy Miller recently posted…The Big Commission BlueprintMy Profile

  4. Hi Yvonne – I don’t consider myself as someone that procrastinates. For social or business meetings I’m on time (almost always). When it comes to getting stuff done for my business, I jump in with no hesitation and get it done, then revise and get it done again and again and again until I’m satisfied (and then I may still change it again).

    My blog posts often take in excess of 6-10 hours (each) to write and layout to a point where I’m satisfied with them. If I didn’t have a set day for publication, I’d probably revise/change each post even more.

    So, yes; I’d say perfectionism leads to procrastination in getting the job done.
    Duane Reeve recently posted…Ouch! Find out what happened to my organic trafficMy Profile

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Love your new attitude, Roy. It takes a lot of stress off of you, doesn’t it? Because you know you’re doing what you need to do to move your business forward. Thank you for sharing.

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Wow, Duane! 6-10 hours for a blog post? Your posts are excellent with lots of details and no 3 or 400 word count. However, I would agree with you that there’s definitely a strong desire for perfection there. You’ve taken the first step by acknowledging it. Based on your post about your organic traffic, you’re probably going to be writing more blog posts, and so you’ll want to shorten that time significantly. We should talk. 🙂

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Thank you, Davina for reading and sharing what you are struggling with. You’re not alone and whatever form it’s evidenced in can be crippling. Knowing and taking steps are very important and I know you can succeed by starting to take small steps in the right direction.

  5. Pravin on said:

    So true. I am working on a startup idea and the blog post resonates with my thoughts. It is absolutely important to get the stuff done. No matter how perfect your product is, you ll still seek perfection. Perfection should not be seen as destination but as a journey.

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      I like that! “Perfection should not be seen as a destination but as a journey.” This is so true. Welcome to my website, Pravin, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I wish you the best with your start-up idea. Just get it out there! Imperfection resonate with a lot of people way more than the appearance of perfection.

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Absolutely, Mike. So many great ideas remain hidden because of wanting everything to be perfect. That was my situation for the first two years after I came online, and I know it’s something many people struggle with.

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