The Perfectionist vs the Lazy Man

“There’s a perfectionist in me that’s getting bludgeoned by the lazy man in me.”

I think there’s a part in every person that wants to do things perfectly. Well, in most people. Scratch that, I don’t know the numbers. This is some crappy philosophy, no research was done. 

Anyway, I first notice this thing about me back in college. At the start of every semester, I would look at the unit outline and see the scoring section and say to myself: “Hey, this looks easy enough. I should aim for a HD grade.” 

And then something happens. Something deeply rooted in me rose up in protest as the semester continues. That something is laziness. It chips away at this idea that I should achieve the best grade available. That small voice inside me starts saying “Maybe slacking on this assignment isn’t that big of a problem. You could probably still get a D.” 

This continues on and on and before I know it, the lazy man is bludgeoning that so-called perfectionist to within an inch of his life. The lazy man in me says stuff like “You know what, you should spend more time watching that TV show. You’ve earned it by doing this amount of work.” “That was a great working session, it should be enough. No, you don’t have to do that extra work. A C sounds like a good grade. You should reward yourself with some rest.” By the time finals come around, I’m thinking: “Hey, it’s been a fun ride. I think getting a pass would suffice.”

And this isn’t limited to just grades. Assignments, freelance stuff, my own projects… everything starts with me being driven, wanting to do everything beyond what is necessary and doing it in a perfect way. But as time progresses, my motivation levels start to sputter out and laziness wins over. I start to think that, maybe this isn’t worth it. Maybe doing all this extra stuff for that top score isn’t worth it. I should just stick to the basic requirements. I should just do this mapping quickly instead of focusing on the details. I start doing the bare minimum that I need to and start feeling like I should not put in extra effort on doing things. I’ve never sunk to the level of not completing things yet. The worst I’ve been is with being late occasionally. And here’s hoping that I never do.

So what are your experience with this? I don’t think everyone has this problem but if you’re one of those who has experienced it and figured out a way to tackle this problem, let me know in the comments. I would love to put this little issue of mine to rest.

Side Note: This is the start of a new biweekly/bimonthly blog series, which will alternate with From the Writing Desk. It was called Crappy Philosophy at first, because that was what I was going to write about, but I decided I didn’t want to just talk about philosophy, so that’s why it’s called Random Ramblings instead.

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