The lie that perfectionists tell themselves

The lie that perfectionists tell themselves

More time doesn't always equal higher quality work. In fact, it can do more harm than good

74 readers like this


October 11, 2018

Perfectionists typically believe the more time they spend on tasks, the better the quality of their work. They tell themselves if they could spend just one more hour on a deliverable, or even better, have another week, they could guarantee a flawless outcome. But more often than not, the extra time doesn’t significantly change the impact of the work – and in some cases, it can actually decrease work quality. Perhaps worse, the extra effort generally goes unnoticed by managers. 

In this Harvard Business Review article, authors Matt Plummer And Jo Wilson recount numerous research studies that back this up. Perfectionists aren’t the only ones who fall into this trap, they warn. In the quality-first culture of many organizations, “people spend a lot of time perfecting work that would have had the same impact without the extra hours of tweaking.”

Individuals and organizations should instead switch their mindset to focus on productivity as the ultimate goal of work – increased quality will follow naturally, the authors say. Read this article to learn more. 

Carla Rudder is a writer and content manager on The Enterprisers Project.

7 New CIO Rules of Road

CIOs: We welcome you to join the conversation

Related Topics

Submitted By Kevin Casey
June 18, 2019

No one wants to see their Robotic Process Automation project fail. Check out when and where RPA can go wrong – and learn from common mistakes.

Submitted By Carla Rudder
June 17, 2019

Should IT leaders still invest their time and money in a traditional MBA program? Or has that degree lost its power to supercharge your career? Let’s examine both sides of the debate.

Submitted By Stephanie Overby
June 17, 2019

Considering a new role? Changing your career path? Want more happy days at work? Don’t miss this wisdom from career experts.


Email Capture

Keep up with the latest thoughts, strategies, and insights from CIOs & IT leaders.