I spent over 100 hours reading books related to perfectionism this year so that you don’t have to.
Want the cliff notes?
I’ve got you covered with my top 3 reads:
→ Our endless quest for the perfect “productivity hack” only begets more productivity. As perfectionists, we fill the time we gain with yet more productivity…and over time, the things that make our time beautiful and human are squeezed out. In place of more productivity tools and technologies, try time bounding your work, deciding in advance what to fail at, and develop a disciplined practice around doing nothing.
→ Perfectionism is one of the biggest blockers to creativity. Cameron writes, “For the perfectionist, there are no first drafts, rough sketches, warm-up exercises. Every draft is meant to be final, perfect, set in stone.” The answer? Accepting that anything worth doing is worth doing badly and asking ourselves what we would do if we didn’t have to do it perfectly. Her concept of “morning pages” can be a game-changer here: Every day, write three pages, stream-of-consciousness style. Don’t ever look back and read it. Stick with it a couple of months and I promise you’ll notice a change in mindset.
→ There’s relief in starting to realize how the societal deck is stacked against us when it comes to the burnout so common among perfectionists. But there’s still hope: We can start to differentiate between the “stressors” that cause us burnout and our response to them in the form of the physical “stress cycle” we experience. We can get increasingly better at bringing our own “stress cycle” to completion by 20 minutes of physical activity, casual social interaction (think: chit chatting with your barista), finding any way to laugh, and a 20-second hug. These easy actions signal to our brain that the world is safe, bringing the physical stress cycle to a close.
What other books should I read that speak to topics related to perfectionism?