Event planners are the some of the busiest people that I know. We work hard, and we equally play hard. However even the best of us have trouble finishing our work and putting the finishing touches on an event. Maybe it is the perfectionism taking over. Other times, our aim to control every little thing leaves us paralyzed only to complete nothing. In an event we need to overcome these situations and keep ourselves focused on finishing what we do.
That is why I loved John Acuff’s book called Finish. John’s book slaps perfectionism in the face, and aims for a little less in order to get things done. His book shows you how to finish what you start. Does this mean that you shouldn’t look to be perfect or be the best at what you do? Not necessarily. But it does mean is that the less people aim for perfect, the more productive they become.
The way the world is trending, we are expected to do more with less. Provide caviar on a popcorn budget. Plan more meetings with less people. Sometimes the events that we plan stress us to the point where we are not being productive. When this happens, we need to know that less than perfect is okay. So, after struggling myself with how productive I am, John’s book gave me four key learnings that I would like to share with you that ultimately helped me to finish strong.
Realize that you can’t do it all
As much as we feel compelled to do it all, we just can’t. In life we have many competing priorities and impulses that drive us to try to do everything in our power to make everything work out. However, it really isn’t logical to do it all, nor should you be expected to. Anything that you do, should come out of your passion, and not just because you should. I love this quote by Simon Sinek.
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek
Make the most of the time that you have
I learned a small but very effective trick from John in time management. In an effort to read the books he wants in the time he has, he listens to audiobooks. Not only does John listen to audiobooks, but he reads them at 1.5x speed! I loved this! Now when I have a book to read and don’t have a lot of time, I do the same. Sometimes I do it at 2.0x speed. Thank goodness for John and this idea. He saved me so much time.
Be aware of your hiding place
What is your hiding place? “A hiding place is the safe place that you go to hide from your fear of messing up. It’s the task that lets you get your perfectionism fix by making you feel successful even as you avoid your goal.” John Acuff is right on point. Many of us fall into this trap of hiding from the fear of messing up. Sometimes this looks like binge watching Netflix instead of completing that budget you need to get to your client, or not answering an email because you don’t want offend anyone or might have the wrong answer.
Many times people find their hiding places hidden in deliberation, evaluation, or over-analyzation. Hiding in these places can delay the completing of your task and risk your productivity levels. With hiding places, John Acuff mentions that “you’re afraid to face the fear of imperfection that comes along with every endeavor, so that you are hiding from it by doing something that requires no skill.” It is important to find what your hiding places are and come out of hiding, and finish what you started.
Perfectionism loves isolation
As an event planner, perfectionism runs in our blood. We thrive off of knowing everything and having the answer to everything pertaining to our event. However, at times the perfectionism that we want can drive us further away from the better plan. Perfectionism loves isolation and sometimes when you isolate yourself you can cut yourself off from those that can bring your event to the next level. Next time that you feel the urge to keep everything to yourself, try inviting others into your planning process to make your plan a more diverse one. Remember that a diverse plan is a better plan.
Don’t Aim for Perfect
The less that people aim for perfect, the more productive they become. Does this mean that you are sacrificing quality over perfectionism? Perhaps. However, many times people aren’t too tied up in the details, and only interested in a task being completed. This doesn’t mean that you should give up on doing great at what you do. What it means is that you could ensure you complete tasks on time, while giving you more time to perfect something a little more important.
Lastly, imperfection doesn’t take long to show up and when it does, we usually quit what we are doing. If we keep thinking this way, we will never complete the things we need to get done. The goal is to keep going no matter if things aren’t exactly the way that you want them to be.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? How does it prevent you from finishing? I would love to hear your insight and your review of the book Finish in the comments!