In spite of my best intentions, I had to stop myself in the middle of a flurry of activities this weekend. Multi-tasking at its worst, I'm afraid. I was filling out holiday cards, absent-mindedly petting the cat with my foot, talking to my mother on my cell phone, and keeping one eye on a lasagna in the oven. All at the same time. Meanwhile, I am certain that Mom knew my mind was in a million places because she kept repeating herself. Finally, she asked me to call later when I was not so busy.
And when will that be, I wondered, as I begin to beat myself up for my various failures, from being a bad cat-owner, to a sad excuse for a daughter, to probably a wretched cook, and so on.
This state of affairs is not intentional. I do not plan on spreading myself so thin that, even in my own estimation, I am unable to do anything well. It seems to be my personal default, though... what happens when I am not vigilant. It seems to get worse when I plan too many things in a block of time, set very high standards for myself, then heap on self-criticism when things don't go as I planned. Am I alone here?
Apparently not. Professionals, such as Dr. Kenneth Rice at the
If perfectionism is a pretty stable part of my personality, what can I change? To start, I can stop planning far too many things into a small block of time. In other words, one way I can stop setting myself up for constant failure in my own eyes by allowing myself to focus on fewer things at one time. Of course, it'd counter-productive to do fewer things but then hold myself accountable for perfection even in those, so maybe I should also wish for a big lump of realistic standards in my Christmas stocking.