Stressed and need better time management

by Wendy

My friends have told me that I have a problem with time management, and I think they are right. When I think about it, I'm always in a hurry and stressed because I'm always running late.

The problem is that I like everything to be perfect - I am a but of a perfectionist and I spend so much time trying to do tasks to perfection.

This is not just work (I work as an administrative officer), but is also about things outside of work, whether it is cleaning the house or my own appearance - I take ages to get ready!

Basically I spend so much time to try and make things perfect that I am hesitant to get ready for work or to do anything because the whole thing is really tiring.

Any advice for me so that I can reduce the time spent doing things? Thanks!

Jackie’s reply: AJ,
Hi Wendy,
I completely hear what you are saying.

I used to be a perfectionist and it lead to one of two things.

  1. I would spend so long trying to make the thing that I was working on a bit better.

    In the end that little gain was not worth the time.

    For example I remember working a was about 90% perfect but the next 10% took me over a week to do.

    Eventually a manager pulled me aside and said "Jackie, you are wasting time striving for perfection, you are going beyond what is really necessary."

  2. I would procrastinate on the task and end up just not doing it because I would fear not being able to do it 100%.

As you can imagine my perfectionist streak increased my stress for little gain.

What I realized was that it was OK for me to get it to about 85-90% perfect.

All the best and good luck

Kell’s reply: Thank you Jackie and Wendy,

Your comments have inspired me to write about Pareto principle which I think would be helpful.

I try to apply the Pareto principle to everything that I do.

This is the idea that 20% of what you do yields 80% of your results, while the other 80% of what you do only yields 20% of results.

The important things is to stay on the right side of this 80-20 rule.

To do this, draw up your to-do list and order your list in terms of priority.

Lets say that you have 10 tasks on your to-do list.

Now the top 2 things on your list will contribute to 80% of your results.

Focus on these two things before you start the others and you will stay on the right side of the 80 20 rule.

All the best,


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