How can I set priorities if I am a perfectionist?

If you are a perfectionist, setting priorities can be challenging because you can get stuck in the moment, and not be able to determine what really matters. In this video, psychologist Jennifer Hartstein, PsyD, shares tips for setting priorities.
Perfectionists often give equal importance to everything they do. Yet that's exhausting and undermines success. Limit the number of things you throw yourself at 100% by taking time to think about what really matters to you.
What do you find valuable in life? What would you want 50 years of your life to represent? If that seems overwhelming, where do you want to put your energies for the next five years?

As you set priorities, assign the letters "ABCF" to help you decide where you want to excel (A), be above average (B), be average (C), and what to let go (F). For example:
  • A (100% effort): If your career is most valuable, your goals might be to impress the boss, make sure clients are happy, put out good products at work.
  • B (Above average, maybe 80% effort): Perhaps you like playing golf or tennis or want to learn a new language. You enjoy these activities, but have no plans to go pro.
  • C (Average effort): Perhaps having a clean home is important, too. How often does your home need to be cleaned? People aren't coming to see it every day. Could you just clean up on the weekend? Or focus on a few rooms that get the most traffic?
  • F (No effort): Time-consumers that don't advance your values or bring you pleasure deserve to be pruned. Remember the example of lining up hangers? Do you have any tasks that, upon reflection, don't really matter? You've just done them one way for so long that you're on autopilot.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.