How Can Perfectionist Students Manage Time and Study Effectively?

  • Thread starter mphr
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In summary: I used to feel so embarrassed and ashamed of making mistakes, like there was something wrong with me. But I've learned that mistakes are just a normal part of the learning process. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Many students feel the same way. I believe that mistakes make us smarter. They help us learn more and become better at what we do. So, if you're a perfectionist, try to accept that mistakes are a part of the learning process and learn from them.
  • #1
How can a student study more things related to academic syllabus with proper time management even though the student is a perfectionist? Before answering to my question, I hope you should know more about a perfectionist.
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  • #2
Stop everything you do including eating and sleeping and devote everything (including your life, which you will forfeit if you were to do this) to studying more things.
  • #3
Perfectionism is ultimately no-win situation for those who are suffering with it. I know, no plant will well root in it. I don’t mean to leave every life time to defeat against it. But ,I want to know other people’s experiences in their academic study style who are not perfectionist and enjoy life in it’s reality.
  • #4
Is English your second language?
  • #5
I hope I wouldn't be banned because of linking to wiki::rolleyes:

Adderholt-Elliot (1989) describes five characteristics of perfectionist students and teachers which contribute to underachievement: procrastination, fear of failure, the all-or-nothing mindset, paralysed perfectionism, and workaholism.[6] In intimate relationships, unreal expectations can cause significant dissatisfaction in both partners.[7] Perfectionists may sacrifice family and social activities in the quest for their impossible goals.

If that's what you mean, I admit that I'm a perfectionist too, so I might not be a good help here since you want to know non-perfections people idea here. Anyway I guess you'd better to get advice from your teachers and classmates. I notice that most of my classmates just did what the professor/teacher ask them to read/do.
  • #6
The best (and really only) advice I can offer is to try to redirect your need to be a perfectionist in directions that will help rather than defeat your goals. If you know that you get caught up worrying about every little detail in one assignment so that you run out of time to get to the next one, try to redirect yourself to the next assignment with the conscious effort that you need to do well in ALL your classes, not just one, and if you have enough time, you can go back to the details of the first one.

You can also try following a schedule. I try to recommend students create schedules with built-in flexibility to deal with the unexpected, but for someone who is having problems with perfectionism interfering with their studies and/or social life, a more rigid schedule may be more effective. Sit down with a weekly calendar, block off the time you're in classes, the time you need to commute to and from your classes, an hour for each meal, block off normal sleep hours, and then look at the time you have remaining. Find the equivalent of a half hour per day for relaxing or doing something don't have to do it every day, but, for example, could say that on Fridays you want to go with friends to see a movie, and that will take 2 1/2 hours, so the other days of the week, you'll only take that hour for meals. Or, you can decide you really only take a half hour to eat lunch, but then become very unproductive in the middle of the afternoon, so will split that time so you have a half hour later in the day for a break or nap or to get a snack, etc.

Now you can split up the rest of the time for studying each subject. What works best for you, to focus on one subject for a long block of time, or to switch back and forth between subjects? If you need to set an alarm clock to remind you to switch to another subject, or another problem, do so. If you're prone to getting bogged down on one problem and not even getting to all the others on your assignments, then use a timer and when it goes off, move to the next problem. Do a little work on each, then go back to the ones you couldn't complete and spend time reviewing that material to make sure you understand it before attempting the problem again.

So, that's all I can really suggest is to refocus your need for perfectionism onto perfect time management.

If you really feel like it has gotten to the point where it's affecting your studies or your ability to have normal social interactions, seek out a psychologist or psychiatrist. They may either be able to give you much better strategies than those of us here for modifying your own behavior to achieve your goals, or there may be some other underlying problem that can be treated or at least alleviated with medication.
  • #7
Gelsamel Epsilon said:
Is English your second language?


so much for perfectionism.

  • #8
I know that making mistakes is too much for perfectionists. But now, I have the confidence, ‘some mistakes are our good teachers’. If we are stopping make mistakes that means we stop our earnings………..
I know that my English is not so good.
It is too a part of my perfectionism. I had a good chance to improve my English even though it was my seconded language till last year. And now it’s my first language. I think that I am not too good in my passed –over first language also. But I have the confidence that I can catch up them.
Being a perfectionist I couldn’t make any of work up to time till now. All of my works were last minute work and I couldn’t do that for a long time. All of them made me fully absent from everything in my life. but last year ,I achieved good grade in public examination compare to other students ,even though it is a last days preparation .I got an admission in a famous school in my region ,where students are talents than me. But I have the hope that if I study well I can achieve good knowledge according to my ambition. Now I realized that I am a perfectionist at all, and I want fight against its negative sides.
………………Thanks to reply. -----Keep in mind, don’t be a perfectionist--------
  • #9
Suggested reading;"
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  • #10
I think one should try to stop having the mindset of a perfectionist; i.e. procrastinating because you are scared of doing less work than expected, and to look forward ro excessive working.

I think whatever the problem is the student in question is having, should plan their studying schedule much earlier than the student has in mind. And hence, to break down the problem into managable pieces; with managable studying time each day.
  • #11

I'd like to thanks the help I had here by reading this "blog". I am a perfectionist and I had problems to understand this and I have more problems to manage this. Most of the problems I have in my life is caused by my perfectionism. I already know that this is because of my will to be loved, but people have more than they really offer me because I go close to craziness. Now I'm learning to get my mind fresh on the things of my life and I have thanks to my friends. But it is still hard to me. Sometimes I use to be verbally aggressive, or depressive once I study in an university full of brilliant students and I tray to be the best one. In other words, it's spoiling all my life. I am fighting against it and I made a little progress. Reading this page helped me mora and I'd like to keep on receiving sugestions and relate my success.

P.S. I also have problems with my English because it is not so good, besides I don't speak it frequently.:frown:

Related to How Can Perfectionist Students Manage Time and Study Effectively?

1. What is perfectionism and why is it harmful?

Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by setting excessively high standards for oneself, and being overly critical and self-critical. It can lead to feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and a fear of failure, ultimately hindering one's ability to achieve their goals and enjoy life.

2. How does perfectionism affect mental health?

Perfectionism can have a negative impact on mental health, as the constant pressure to achieve unrealistic standards can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also cause individuals to avoid taking risks and trying new things, which can limit personal growth and fulfillment.

3. Can perfectionism be beneficial in any way?

While perfectionism is often seen as a negative trait, it can have some positive aspects. Perfectionists tend to be detail-oriented and have a strong work ethic, which can lead to success in certain fields. However, it is important to find a balance and not let perfectionism become a hindrance.

4. How can one overcome perfectionism?

Overcoming perfectionism can be a challenging process, but it is possible. Some strategies include setting realistic goals, challenging negative thoughts and beliefs, practicing self-compassion, and learning to accept mistakes and imperfections. Seeking support from a therapist or counselor can also be helpful.

5. Is perfectionism a fixed trait or can it be changed?

Perfectionism is not a fixed trait and can be changed with effort and determination. It may be deeply ingrained, but with self-awareness and a willingness to make changes, individuals can learn to let go of perfectionistic tendencies and live a more balanced and fulfilling life.

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