Self-care Saboteurs: Time Management, Perfectionism

One of the soul themes for July is self-care, and it’s the last week of the month. The final two of the four saboteurs to Self-Care genius? Time management fumbles, and Perfectionism. Let’s discuss these together, because I’m out of time, and there isn’t time to make this perfect. How perfect!

Saboteur 3: Time Management Fumbles

This is a topic many study for years and years, and still fumble with verve. Part of it may be how people are wired – more left brain or right, or a sneaky taking-turns dance between the two? Then there can be the way that not all projects get counted. Or that feeling that you need to catch up and sprint to the finish on several projects, and then create that sanity in your scheduling.

The short list of time mgmt fumbles:

1) Too much on the plate, plus an inaccurate sense of how it’ll take
2) Lack of good planning – including prioritizing most important areas, and giving them time blocks (or “focus blocks” as *CG says)
3) Overdoing then crashing when plans and timing are off
4) Not having cushion in your schedule for life’s surprises, and the all-important recovery time
5) Not having your to do list and projects, aligned with your values, and what really matters

I could go on but those are the basic areas that can repeatedly cause trouble for your self-care needs, and life in general. For the self-care area, for each time block that is focused, you then need to plan a recovery block of time. Those can be fifteen minute breaks, or an evening movie. After two long work days I recently was advised to take the next day off. What a concept! I don’t do that, but I do take the morning and early afternoon for my nature reset / hiking time.

One more key area here is delegating, asking for help, hiring help for non-genius work. That can be a challenge. Why not try this out and see how that impacts your work and income zone? Often you not only make more income, but you have more time for innovation and genius work.

Saboteur 4: Perfectionism

A client repeated a mantra recently; Done is better than perfect. My comedy character Tina Tomasichio espouses, Perfection ain’t the point. Some of you are wired for extra thoroughness and over the top excellence. And, for much of the day to day work, especially the non-genius work, perfect is simply not needed.

It helps me to know about the Highly Sensitive Person framework (HSP). One of their traits alongside beauty appreciation and empathy, is that extra thoroughness and tendency toward perfectionism. Sometimes that fits and it’s great for the project. Many times though, it just makes your toiling hours longer and isn’t noticed or appreciated as much as you might wish.

When aware of HSP tendencies, you can have more of a choice. Recently with some contract work, I came to a stopping point. I noticed my HSP side would keep going; give it another 1-3 hours. But instead I decided to send it for feedback. “This is awesome!” was the response. Thank you. Done. And I could move to the next burning plate in the air.

Burning Plates or a Bit of Recovery Time?

And/or, take a break. That’s our focus here, right? Having time for self-care. Having times of focus, and times of ease. Not burning out or maxing out too often. Using energy well.

Today is a day for self-care for example, and I’ve worked a lot of it. But the hard stop is in less than fifteen minutes. I wanted to finish the self-care series before the month was done, ideally today. This took less than thirty minutes to complete. Perfect? Hell no. Good enough? Likely.

Will I soon be resting with my murder mystery alongside the all-too-rare rain-soaked wind in twelve minutes or less? Yes yes. It’s time for the self-care exhale, and the random input of beauty and nurturance. This will reset and refresh the entire ground of life.

Best to you in your own self-care mastery and ease-filled work schedule. May sanity and sacred work help you help the world.

Yours truly,
Denise Barnes
Prior Self-care Lame Duck


Four Ways Self-Care Gets Waylaid
#1: The Puritan Work Ethic
#2: False or Limiting Beliefs


After many forays into time management systems, my hearty recommendation for the best framework and support to implement it, goes to my esteemed colleagues at Productive Flourishing  and the husband/wife team of *Charlie Gilkey and Angela Wheeler. Charlie’s new book Start Finishing is a great place to start, and there are free Monthly Momentum calls for learners.

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