Reducing Perfectionism Part III of III


Have the student choose two activities and anticipate the length of time he anticipates each activity will take. Then, set a timer.  Let him know that he has enough control over himself to stop the first activity and start on the second. When the anticipated time for the first activity has expired, have him start on the second. At the end of the allotted time for the second activity, have him visit the first activity and determine how much more time still would be necessary for it to be of QUALITY  work. The process is repeated for the other activity.

Next assignment: Have him outline a typical day in 15 minute blocks. After reviewing it, make the point that successful people have developed decision-making skills for time management. Time management requires setting priorities. Have him go through his list and list priorities of 1, 2, and 3. 1 = essential like eating and sleeping, 2 = what’s really important, and 3 = what he would like but is not as important as 1 or 2.

Ask him to list his priorities for one week using small cards that will fit into his pocket for easy reference.

Periodically, ask him how his decision-making is going.

Let him know that unless he starts to focus on QUALITY—RATHER THEN ON PERFECTION—his performance will lead to his not handing assignments in on time. There will be too many assignments to do. When an assignment is handed in after the due date, his grade will be lowered resulting in the exact opposite of what he desires, viz., getting a good grade.

He needs to start NOW. Ask him if he wants to replace his DESIRE TO BE PERFECT with a better choice of doing QUALITY LEARNING.

Help him in this regard. Role play the situation. Give him an assignment with a time deadline. Let him know that it would be purely practice and you would be willing to invest your time to help him ONLY if he wants you to. If he says no to your offer, let him know that he has the option of changing his mind.

Finally, have a discussion with him letting him know that he is trying to be perfect to please the teacher, to receive a good grade, or to be liked. (EXTERNAL motivation–Level C of the Raise Responsibility System).

It is more important for him to live a balanced life so that his performance is a combination of both external motivation AND INTERNAL motivation (doing all the assignments and his own value of being pleased with quality performance—Level D in the Raise Responsibility System).