I saw an article titled ‘Fight Perfectionism’ this week that caught my eye. The article spoke about the relationship between perfectionism and procrastination – how we sometimes delay starting a task because we are so fixed on what the end result should look like.
In conversations I have with your sons, the subject of motivation often arises. It is not possible to remain highly motivated 100% of the time, because there will always be an ebb and flow to how enthusiastic and focussed we are on the tasks we are attending to.
Just as management training will teach us there are three types of workers, those who see their work as a job, a career, or a calling, students’ motivation as they approach their final years at school can be viewed in a similar way. All will be capable of achieving their goals, but they will go about this in different ways, to suit the context of the task they are approaching.
In parallel to the three workers, our students might be seen as the following, at different times in their school journey:
- Pacers – calendar managers, marking off the milestones
- Planners – forward thinkers, managing their time and relationships is key
- Missionaries – no stone unturned in their quest
All of these approaches will see the achievement of study and academic goals.
Just as a lack of commitment and motivation is damaging, so is an unhealthy obsession with perfectionism. Students will sometimes reveal that they delay starting a task because they want to ensure that they want the end result to be perfect, so their planning and consideration of the task becomes overwhelming.
Our Year 12 students are in the midst of the process of making decisions about courses to apply for when they finish school. The best way we can support them is to recognise how they are working – pacing, planning or on a quest – and tune into using language that allows them to approach the process step by step, and not aim for a ‘perfect’ result on the first attempt.
Courses and contacts
Please refer to Courses & Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.