Perfectionism as a Procrastination Problem (And How to Deal with It)

Perfectionism as a Procrastination Problem (And How to Deal with It) - lidiya k

This post is part of my eBook How to Kill Procrastination One Excuse at a Time.

If you’re procrastinating on something, then you’re most probably coming up with some kind of excuses as to why you don’t need to take action right away.

And if you take a close look at them, you’ll understand the main reason why you procrastinate, can then find out what underlying motive causes it, and can do something about it.

Some people think that now’s not the best time to start a project, or that they need to do this or that in order to actually begin, or to wait for something to change so that the situation can be perfect.

If that sounds familiar, then you’re a bit of a perfectionist.

Not the positive version, where you’d always want to improve yourself and thus get closer to your goals and dream bigger, but the negative one. Where you’re using perfectionism as an excuse not to get things done in the present moment, think the conditions will be better later or that you’ll be better prepared and it will be easier and smarter to take action then.

And you procrastinate.

The Problem with Perfectionism Explained

This too is connected to fearing that you might fail, but this time it’s even worse. Everything may seem fine, but you doubt your abilities and think you won’t succeed. And if you can’t complete the task perfectly, then there’s no point in doing it at all.

Sadly, after such self-doubt you feel even worse about yourself, are disappointed and lower your self-esteem. That prevents you from taking action when a future opportunity presents itself to you.

This problem comes in different forms:

Waiting for the right moment.

I know people who not only procrastinate on working on something they care about, but a lifetime isn’t enough for them to get moving.

So much potential has been wasted and goals weren’t achieved simply because of that.

If you fall into the trap of waiting for the right time to act upon your goals or just start a new project or take up a hobby, life will become a waiting room and you may never get out of it.

Later becomes never. Put things off for next week, and you’ll find yourself having forgotten about the whole thing after a month or two.

But the desire deep within won’t be dead. Even if it’s a little daily task you’ve procrastinated on, it’s a key part of the big picture. And without such elements, your overall success in life won’t be possible.

Waiting for the perfect conditions.

Your Inner Leader: How are You Developing You?

In this case, the person would be expecting or hoping for things to be better after some time. But, in reality, it’s finding comfort in this excuse and even blaming other people and life itself for not giving you the best conditions.

It’s easier to just let things be this way, without the need for you to take any action in the present. You feel good knowing you may try again in the near future.

Unfortunately, that rarely ends well.

Waiting for yourself to be ready.

Preparation can be a bad thing sometimes, as it turns into overthinking.

‘Not being ready’ is another excuse procrastinators use and it lets them put things off for later when they will be a better version of themselves, more experienced, more confident and better prepared.

But all this takes time, dedication and effort. And people don’t usually invest such finite resources without having a strong reason behind it.

All this waiting leads to procrastination, to wasting your time right now. It also results in missed opportunities.

Most of the times, the answer to all these is to just act now.

But let’s see what the solution is:

The Solution for Each of These Perfectionism Mindsets

1. Now is the perfect time.

Any other moment other than this one will be later, often too late.

So instead of wishing for the next one to offer you more opportunities, work with what you’ve got and make the best of it.

Life isn’t about ideas, it’s about acting upon at least one of them and turning it into reality.

You can change the course of your life right now by catching this brief moment and making it last forever.

By experiencing it, being aware of it and appreciating it. By being right here, right now, and realizing it’s the best place to be and that you don’t need anything else.

Now is where you’re supposed to be and thinking about the past or future prevents you from living this moment, which is the only thing you truly have.

If you can’t live this one, you’ll miss out on many more. And having in mind that life is made of moments like that, you don’t live at all.

But if you take control and focus on your current activity, on the people around you, on how you feel right now, if you look around and breathe deeply, you might just feel like the happiest person in the world.

And no one is able to take that from you. Because this moment is your present.

This moment is yours and no other will be more perfect. So take action.

2. Don’t rely on outer factors.

You must take responsibility for anything that happens or doesn’t happen in your life. It’s what purpose- and action-oriented individuals are doing all the time. It becomes you mindset after you practice this way of thinking for some time.

Relying on other people to give you support or advice isn’t necessary. You’re more than enough and have all it takes to get things done.

And waiting for life to bring you the perfect conditions is ridiculous. As perfection is subjective, if you think about it. What looks bad to you may be ideal for someone else who sees things differently.

So try to expand your horizons, be more open-minded and focus on how perfect things are already, instead of waiting for them to improve.

3. You’re ready.

Be more confident in yourself. Breathe deeply and admit your past successes, the things you’re good at. Also, keep in mind that you can only get better from here on. But for now, be initiative, take action, do something to get things done.

Once you ponder these ideas and develop them as your habits on a mental level, perfectionism won’t be an issue anymore.

Over to you now. How do you manage the perfectionist in you, and what can you do about understanding perfectionism today and stop using it as an excuse to procrastinate?

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest

Sharing my adventures in lifestyle design, building an online business, and growing this blog. Join me for weekly updates.

Previous ArticleNext Article

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income