Trust that your intuition and experience will guide you.
Freedom from the weight of perfection can be creatively liberating. Making occasional mistakes is expected and part of being human. Next, slow down and analyze what, precisely, is stressing you out. Write down the specific tasks that are causing the feelings of stress. You might discover that the situation isn’t as dire as you thought.
Consider this apt quote: the perfect is the enemy of the good.
When you reduce the pressure on yourself to attain perfection, you can flow more quickly and easily through your tasks.
Behind the scenes, we quietly shine through our actions—not necessarily our (spoken) words. For me, it was a manager at a former workplace who often worked from home. I wished that I could get away with his behavior and attitude. For people like me and my close-to-quitting friend, the concept of giving anything less than our best doesn’t cross our minds. We set high standards for ourselves and are disappointed and frustrated when we can’t always achieve those standards.
When he was in the office, he was cool and relaxed and never appeared to be working, yet he was highly regarded by upper management. It’s that impending anxiety of failure that caused my friend to believe: “If I can’t do my job well, I don’t want to do it at all.” But the brutal, honest truth is that many bosses don’t notice who is giving 100% and who is doing the minimum to get by.
So, by caring less, you’re actually caring just enough.
Putting in slightly less effort in times of high stress doesn’t mean you don’t care about your job; it means you care about yourself more.
And here’s a bonus: You might achieve more when you care less.
Here is my advice for when you find yourself in the midst of panicked overwhelm. (And if you do, that’s not a company you want to work for anyway.) You know what will likely happen? By approaching your tasks one at a time (remembering that everything doesn’t need to be perfect) you can make real progress.
First, ask yourself: What’s the worst that will happen if I miss a deadline by one day? Taking that step back helps you shake the paralysis off and get more done. Honestly, I think she found the concept of caring less to be too radical.