I was working at my part-time job the other day when my boss—who has read this blog—asked me why I was so particular about cleaning at work but messy at home. This is a good question because I’m a great cleaner at work. Actually, I’m a perfectionist at work. I call co-workers out for not cleaning or doing something properly.
Looking at my closet, the word perfect does not come to mind. It’s extremely messy and disorganized. I’m a perfectionist at work, most of the time at school and with doing my laundry and keeping my car tidy. With my closet, it feels impossible.
Some people think that being a “perfectionist” means being lazy. This is partly true because, why not just do it? Even if a small part of my closet is clean, that’s better than nothing. But, there is always an excuse, isn’t there? My go-to’s are: getting dressed in a rush and there’s no time to hang the clothes back up, takes too long to fold things again, and there is no time to clean my closet. Time. Being a perfectionist requires time. Now, more than ever we claim we’re all “crazy busy”, but what are we busy doing? Why can’t I find the time to clean my closet?
It would be logical to think that being a perfectionist would mean that my room—and subsequently my closet—would be neat and tidy. In actuality, there are many people who are perfectionists, but these types of people are so focused on being a perfectionist that it becomes overwhelming. Psychology Today calls this “perfectionism as a roadblock to productivity”. It makes sense. I want my closet to be clean and organized, but it’s so incredibly cluttered that it seems impossible.
The task of cleaning my closet has taken me years. I always start strong, and then fizzle out. If I had buckled down and cleaned it out, it probably would have taken me a whole weekend at most to finish. In real time, a whole weekend seems like a lot of time, but compared to my whole life, a weekend is a wrinkle.
Perfectionism and time go hand-in-hand. I think I have to quit thinking of perfectionism as the end goal, and get busy cleaning the disaster that is my closet.
Stephanie is a twenty-something Professional Writing student at Algonquin that can be found forever cleaning her closet. Which is what this blog is all about. When she’s not cleaning her closet, she is either reading, writing or watching copious amounts of television.