Wait! It’s Not Perfect Yet!

Sometimes I think that I have a split personality. Now before any of you can say, “Ha! That explains it!”, I’m not talking Joanne Woodward in a Three Faces of Eve kind of way. What I mean is, I seem to have two competing natures: perfection versus procrastination. This battle occurs in almost every area of my life.

For some reason I didn’t notice this as much when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong. I was always a perfectionist but I wasn’t always a procrastinator. I was one of those kids who did all the homework due on Monday by Friday night. I finished book reports and projects days or weeks before they needed to be handed in. The only time I ever ran up against a deadline was if the teacher assigned the dreaded “group” project.

Group projects are the bane of a perfectionist’s existence because you have to rely on someone else to hold up his or her end of the project and your grade is linked to his or her efforts in addition to your own. Needless to say, I HATED group projects. Then, as now, I prefer all of the credit or all of the blame. I’m both a Leo and an only child, so I think this makes perfect sense.

I attended a very rigorous high school so I had to stay on top of my studies to maintain a B average (in everything but math and science, that is.) Thanks to the difficulty of my curriculum, college was much easier and this was when procrastination entered my life. I discovered that I could maintain a mostly straight-A average even with waiting until the last minute to complete assignments. As a consequence, I considered my graduating magna cum laude as not a major accomplishment. In fact, I’d tell myself that if I had attended a “better” college, I couldn’t have done that. Ah, well. Masochism is a topic for another post and another day.

Let’s get back to perfection versus procrastination, shall we? Take this blog for example. I’d talked about starting it for a good year before I actually launched it at the end of July. I made list upon list about possible category headings, color scheme, font style, etc. I finally picked a blog theme that I thought was going to be easy to manipulate, but it wasn’t. I got overwhelmed and then inertia set in. Since I couldn’t get it to look “perfect”, I wouldn’t do it at all. I operated under this assumption for a year. My perfection fed into my procrastination.

What changed? Well, it was something that a friend on Twitter said to me in a direct message. While I was angsting over not having the ability to create the look I wanted, she simply said, “As a reader, I’ve never paid attention to a blog’s design. Content is all, no?” I respect this person’s opinion immensely so I took it to heart.

So, I was able to let go of the perfection around the look of the blog. At some point in the future, I may ask a professional to make it look “spiffier” but for right now, I’m satisfied. I reserve all my blog-related perfection for the content and I hope that on the whole, I’ve done a good job. Now, if I could only stop procrastinating about getting rid of clutter, exercising, reading all the major works of literature…