You Can’t Be A Perfectionist With a Giant To-Do List


The problem with being a perfectionist is that it’s never obtainable. I mean you can become a perfectionist with one specific thing….but you can’t ever become a perfectionist of life.

Yet somehow we trick ourselves into believing we can.

We tell ourselves, once we get this figured out, life will be perfect.

Then it’s not, or you are unable to keep things that way. 

I keep disappointing myself time and time again because of this very tendency.

The problem I am having is learning to be okay with messy areas of my life. It’s learning that I can’t do it all in one day and that anything worth putting my time into will definitely mean that other things in my life will fall by the wayside. You can only do one thing at a time even if you are multi-tasking or task switching continually, you are still only doing one thing at a time.

Last week I was determined to get the kids rooms and game room or “little man cave” as we tend to call it organized for summer school. The room organizing took all day. It was a process of deciding what to keep, what to throw away, where to put it so it remains organized in addition to incentivizing the kids in keeping clean rooms.  But doing, that set me behind on client emails for a week or more and I’m now playing catch up right before we leave town again for a camping trip. This is the nature of freelancing with kids.

So this is when its good to simply prioritize. I’m going to make a list of the top three things that need to get done and stick to it and make sure I really can accomplish it, or it’s being moved to the next day. I also need to be okay with not being able to mark everything off my list. I need to be okay with moving it to the next day, especially over summer with kids around.

My house will never be in perfect order. It just won’t with four people living in it, all with their own agendas and priorities and none of them the same. It won’t ever be obtainable. I keep saying things will be better when everything is in order. Then you spend so much time getting everything in order, that you don’t have time to perfect the thing you were hoping to perfect. I have to come to grips with the nature of living.

The nature of living is messy.

And it’s okay!

I keep going round and round with the kids about keeping it clean and tidy so I have time to work and create yet I tend to do more cleaning and up-keeping than creating. But that’s me putting that on myself and I have to be okay with things being messy so that I can spend more time on the important things. I really have to be okay with the laundry piling up for days so that I can spend two days editing videos.

That has to be okay!! 

I have to be okay with only doing the dishes once that day because I had two hours of client work to do. 

Its okay, I’m only one person. 

I have to be okay with the car looking like a bomb went off inside it because other things have been deemed more important to the essence of living and earning an income than a clean car.  It’s just a car….and its okay if it looks a mess. It will eventually make its way up to the top of the list as a priority right? 

This is the problem with people who are OCD, (I might be, I might not). They want to make everything a priority, then the thought of everything becoming a priority is overwhelming…then the overwhelm leads to nothing getting done except mulling over your to-do list and feeling like a failure. Do you have this problem too?

I’m really trying to get my priorities in order as well as my “I don’t give a damn button.”  

What are you trying to tackle this week? Are your own tendencies of perfection or OCD-ness getting in the way? Do you need to enable that “I don’t give a damn” button so that you can work on what’s more important? Do you have trouble deciding what is important and what is simply busy work!? Because I do! I need to think differently so I can accomplish more!

Featured image via pexel:

About Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

19 thoughts on “You Can’t Be A Perfectionist With a Giant To-Do List

  1. I’m learning to do this: I look at all my options, look for the one that I would be ok with, even though it’s not the most perfect option. Then I move forward. This little mind game has helped me so much!

  2. I tend to be a perfectionist for sure. As I’ve gotten older I try and remember what’s really important and not place that stress on myself.

  3. This is important to keep in mind. I never want to be perfect because perfection is boring in my eyes. I do have some OCD friends who I have to remind to relax. Constantly.

  4. Type A personalities, so to speak, can definitely help people achieve things in life, but without a healthy balance and outlook, it will never lead to true success in life. It’s a struggle we all deal with in some way. Your sentiments are easily relatable.

  5. I used to be a perfectionist, but then I had triplets. Now I’m fine with whatever! Haha! Something about kids will suck the perfectionism right out of ya!

  6. My husband has created his life plan and I read his giant to do list. It seems challenging to fulfill but organization and priority setting, I know it will be more manageable.

  7. Perfectionism is just not a healthy state of being. Not one of us is perfect in anything. We can strive to be our best that’s all. Focusing on one thing at a time really is helpful 🙂

  8. I love to organize things but things will not always the way you want it especially when you have kids. I worked in school before I became a Mom and my boss drove me bananas for her “perfectionist” attitude.

  9. Perfection is ephemeral and a mirage. It can lead to frustration. Though one should strive for perfection as a goal, one should also realize that it is okay to be imperfect. Imperfection is what makes the world perfect.

  10. I am not a perfectionist but my daughter is. It’s true it’s very hard to live that way. Plus it goes hand in hand with anxiety. Perfection is a very hard thing to chase and really shouldn’t be the goal ever.

  11. Oh my gosh, my to do list is a mile long! I am always behind. I am far from a perfectionist because of this.

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