Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Paralysis of Perfection

The Paralysis of Perfection

I have a great juggling act to accomplish this coming two months with three projects in the pipeline. This will surely tax my multitasking capabilities to the limits. I am sometimes frustrated at my inefficiency--I work too slowly, often fussing over tiny details. I'm certainly not happy with my current utilization of time. Hence I have identified two areas that I need work on:

One: I tend to consume too much time to achieve the level of quality that I desire. People who are perfectionists pay an unnecessarily high price in terms of time and energy because in most cases perfection is neither expected nor required. I wouldn't say I'm exactly a perfectionist, but I think I sometimes suffer from what people call analysis paralysis, which is probably worse!

Two: Internet surfing consumes too much of my time, without me realising it. I surf mostly to check the latest news and to research on certain technical subjects. But as every avid surfer would know, one link would lead to another and suddenly two hours would have slipped by easily.

IT professionals like us also have this false belief that without an Internet connection, we cannot do our work. This is certainly not true. We have a bad habit of wanting to be connected all the time because it gives us the comfort feeling that we are in touch with the world. Most e-mails are not that urgent. If things are really that urgent, people will call you.

Most news are also not that important. How many versions of the same news do we need to read in a day? I know very well it is a complete waste of time for me to check every British news website for the Liverpool-Juventus match report. But I can't help it sometimes, because good news is so addictive.

Getting rid of these two bad habits will hopefully make me more efficient in terms of time utilization. But bad habits die hard. This is precisely the reason why I try not to rant too much in my blog--I don't want to reinforce my bad habits. It is better to use the habit of blogging to reinforce positive behaviour so that they too become an ingrained habit after a while.

But again, that's the perfectionist in me speaking. And I have to stop writing now because I can feel analysis paralysis beginning to set in!

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