Summary of “The Lie That Perfectionists Tell Themselves”

One of the most common ones is the belief that increasing productivity, or getting the most out of your time, will decrease the quality of your work, or your ability to do tasks perfectly.
In the online program we run to help working professionals develop more productive work behaviors, about half of our participants have agreed with the statement: “I’m sure I could get more done in less time, but the quality of my work would go down.”
More time doesn’t necessarily translate into better quality work.
Spending more time at work and on specific tasks can actually hurt our performance, reducing the quality of our work.
Research has shown that when weekly hours worked exceed 50 or 55 hours, cognitive performance and work engagement levels begin to decline, dragging down the quality of the work produced with it.
One participant in our program said, “Why should I get my work done more quickly if I’ll just be given more work to fill the time?” To break up this cycle, we need to stop associating more time with higher quality work.
Keyboard shortcuts save us time and lead to higher quality work because they enable us to avoid the easily-made mistakes of dragging and dropping items in the wrong spots and clicking on the wrong items.
In our work with companies, we have seen what happens in a quality-first culture: people spend a lot of time perfecting work that would have had the same impact without the extra hours of tweaking.

The orginal article.