How Perfectionism Kills Productivity

Are you a perfectionist? I was born as one.

Perfectionism is often both a curse and a blessing. Sure your work is beautiful when its completed, but obsessing over getting it 100% flawless will crush your productivity and overall output. Worse, since you’re getting less done it often leads to less income.

The biggest challenge for me has been in coping with my perfectionism. I have a stiflingly hard time moving forward in a project if it’s not ‘just right’ all along the way. The trap I so easily fall into is rewriting and rewriting the same scenes over and over to make them perfect, instead of continuing on into the wild unknown of the story. – Laini Taylor

I can personally relate to this quote because it’s happened to me all of my life. When I first dove into internet marketing I decided to learn some basic coding (HTML) because I wanted to have the ability to build my own websites and understand how to read it so I can make changes to my site on the fly without having to wait on a hired hand. Being a perfectionist I have on many occasions been up all night trying to get every pixel on my page in the right place. Please don’t make the same mistake.

The bottom line is this… the more time you spend trying to make each article, product, task, ebook, course, etc. perfect, the less time you have to put offers into the marketplace. And the number of offers you put into the market is equally proportional to the amount of income you’ll earn. In this business, that’s a fact.

]Before we go any further on this topic, please take this free personal productivity assessment. It will take you less than 10 minutes and will reveal how much room you have for improvement:

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Did you take the assessment? Cool. Now let’s continue on our topic of perfectionism. Please check out this cool infographic by Darius Foroux

Key takeaways include:

A perfectionist always needs more time. Time is the most important commodity in the online world. That is primarily because internet time is significantly shorter than real time.

Results matter. But having the most beautifully written ebook with zero typographic errors is nice. Unless you’re a professional writer, the average reader really won’t care in the long run. In fact, it makes you look more like the average joe which is probably something they can relate with.

When you start doubting yourself… you never start. I see this every day when newbie affiliate marketers lack the confidence to start building their first website or writing their first post. It’s much more important to just get started and make corrections as you go then try to get 100% prepared and waste time trying to achieve perfection.

Perfectionists are prone to more mental disorders including stress, anxiety, depression and even panic attacks. I know this is true because all of those things happened to me when I was obsessing with perfectionism. This is classic Type A behavior.

Find a good balance of the three concepts of perfectionism, slackerism (is that even a word?)* and resourcefulness.

*This is a perfect example since in the past I would have actually looked this up and wasted time instead of just keeping an obviously made-up word in this post.


  1. DNN

    I learned to adapt the saying into my business practices that it’s about “progress, not perfection.” 🙂

    • Bill Burniece

      Thanks DNN. I agree with you. Sincerely, Bill