Both phenomena seem to be on the opposite sides of the spectrum as far as one’s attitude towards an activity is concerned, but they are also inherently linked. In a way, perfectionism is socially encouraged, as only the best is expected from a person in their studies, occupation, and life. Perfect grades guarantee admission to a top college, which, in turn, ensures a well-paid job, and hard work can lead to a promotion. It may appear that perfectionists are suited for this cycle, but the question is whether they truly enjoy that quality of theirs. Being a perfectionist implies that anything lower than a set standard is worthless, which can be a source of anguish. At one point, some stop attempting to reach the unattainable height, and their lives improve. Others cannot do so, especially when perfectionism sustains society. Thus, they continue spending time trying to improve a certain product, but it can be totally fine.
On the other hand, procrastination is shunned due to its unproductive nature. In a society where one’s value depends on productivity, it seems a logical response. However, no one asks if people truly want to procrastinate, as they may do it for various reasons, including mental health problems (Steel & Klingsieck, 2016). Incidentally, perfectionism can also lead to procrastination, when a person cannot achieve the ideal result. Therefore, the former is a double-edged sword that can both encourage and halt one’s activity, and the latter is not always by choice.
It is possible to fight procrastination, but managing perfectionism appears difficult. One’s determination can be sufficient to stop delaying actions and do them timely. However, if a person is unable to stop procrastinating, they should not be ostracized for that. Unfortunately, perfectionism exists as a single notion: it is all or nothing. Thus, a perfectionist should abandon that thesis altogether, which is easier said than done.
A Response to Another Student
I agree with your idea that both are connected, and one can cause the other. However, I would argue that the price to pay for being an overachiever can be high, and being one is probably more beneficial for the organization than the person. The advantages seem short-term, while the consequences of perfectionism and procrastination are for life. Thus, people should strive to avoid them and, as you said, do what is manageable.
Steel, P., & Klingsieck, K. B. (2016). Academic procrastination: Psychological antecedents revisited. Australian Psychologist, 51(1), 36–46. Web.