Are You A Disorganized Perfectionist?
Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Are you the type of person who likes everything just so? Are you striving for perfection with every task you encounter? Do you feel anxious when you can’t complete a task to the standard you desire? Perhaps so much so that you tend to avoid particular tasks that are too daunting to complete to your perfectionist standards?
Yet, people in your life might consider you to be someone who is considerate of the details and who can fully execute a plan. They may even see how organized you can be with your thoughts and time. Would they suspect that your home is in fact the complete opposite from the pristine space they assumed could be in the next issue of HGTV Magazine?
If you can envision an organized home or office yet spend most of your days in piles of papers, clothes and an over abundance of possessions that no longer hold the significance they once did in your life, then you might be a disorganized perfectionist. You certainly aren’t alone. Many people who struggle with being disorganized, do so because their perfectionism stands in their way. Let’s look at what you can do to overcome this phenomenon.
Lose the ALL or NOTHING thinking. Thoughts like ,“If I can’t keep this space perfect then what’s the point of even trying?” or “If the upstairs is a mess then why should I bother with cleaning downstairs?” can be paralyzing. There is a lot to be said for doing what you can, when you can. Every little bit counts. Set limits and boundaries for what you can accomplish in an afternoon or the 30 minutes you have available (i.e. clearing off your kitchen counter or getting everything up off the floor in your clothes closet). When you set more realistic objectives that are actually obtainable it can be empowering as opposed to those self-defeating all or nothing ideas.
Simplify your systems for organization so they are less exhausting and overwhelming. It’s surprisingly common for people to add more steps to organizing tasks than necessary. When you are thinking about your filing system for paperwork or how your finances are managed, consider whether someone else could maintain it. If you’ve spread yourself too thin trying to do it all then ask yourself how you can minimize a step or two from the way you do things.
Rethink your idea of perfection because perfection is not sustainable. Separating your clothes by category (tops, pants, skirts, jackets), color, and weight of fabric is only lovely for so long- until the next time you blow through them like a tornado because you’re late for work or until you aren’t feeling well and someone is helping put your clean clothes away for you. Being flexible will take you much further, for example, if you lump short sleeved shirts together, regardless of color, it’s easy to add one.
No matter how hard you try, perfect won’t last long. The reality is every home in your neighborhood varies in the degree of cleanliness and organization on any given day because everyone’s standards are different. If you lower your expectations from perfect to good enough then you will likely find yourself more organized than ever before!
Carrie Downey of Clarity Co. is a professional organizer and productivity coach in Lexington, KY who is ready to help you create Clarity in your office, digital world or life. Visit clarityco.org or call 859-535-0718 to get started with a free phone consultation.