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Perfectionism, Productivity and Distractions

By Karen Vally on 25 Apr 2014

Almost everyone I meet is either trying to be perfect, struggling with time management, is easily distracted or suffers from all three. Recently, I read a very interesting article in The Sunday Tribune entitled, "Perfectly Bad for You," in which the writer points out that while perfection is valued in our society, research has shown than it can cause serious psychological and physical harm, even death.

Part of the problem, is that perfectionists are often workaholics, seldom ask for assistance and are not very good at taking care of themselves. They also tend to beat themselves up when they do not meet their own expectations, which are often unrealistically high. Professor Gordon Flett, professor of health psychology at York University in Canada, recommends the following, " Lower your standards and accept the occasional failure as an essential ingredient on the road to success. Importantly, if perfectionists feel they need help, physically or emotionally - they mustn't be afraid to seek it, rather than suffering in silence." One of the greatest lessons that life coaching has taught me, is that it is better to strive to be whole than to be perfect. The second greatest lesson I learnt, was how to manage my time more effectively by  planning, prioritizing and  creating a balance in my life. Previously, I had always tried do too many things in too short a space of time.

Distractions, distractions, your life plagued by them? Do you find yourself getting annoyed by the barrage of interruptions that you have to endure every day? Is your productivity declining as a result, and is that making you feel despondent? " The key to productivity, says my favourite coach, Philip Humbert, is "knowing where and how you work best and having the discipline to create your world the way you want it." It also involves setting very clear limits and boundaries, and communicating them effectively to those around us.

Be clear about which distraction has the greatest stronghold over you, and ask yourself, "What new habit can I create to change my response towards it?" One of my clients who is studying towards her BComm degree, has decided to put her cellphone off and in another room while she is preparing for her exams.

Success is no magical occurence or accident. It comes about as "the result of clear, focussed thinking and the ability to take appropriate timely actions."

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