Q&A

How can I stop being such a perfectionist and work faster?

Q.

I have been doing nails for 15 years and instead of getting faster, I am getting slower. I am a perfectionist and it seems the older I get the more meticulous I become, which is becoming a huge problem. I am constantly running behind with clients. I get in such a zone with their nails, sometimes working on the same nail for 10 minutes and I don’t even realize it. I keep finding one more tiny bit of cuticle or the shape is just the tiniest bit off. I would appreciate any advice to help me work faster and stop being so obsessive.

 

A.

As a nail tech for over 26 years I have suffered from this myself. With my own work, I found myself running behind when working on people who have really great nail beds. I would go into what you called “the zone” because I am so into how great their nails are going to look and then, “oops I did it again,” I am running late.

I had to consciously address this issue by going back to the basics and figuring out where I lost time. By breaking the service down into steps and timing yourself you might be surprised exactly where the time is lost. Once I had pinpointed my problem area, I resorted to using a couple of time-saving tricks that I teach my students when they are losing critical time. First, do it right once and you won’t need to go back. Making sure it’s perfect the first time puts you in the frame of mind that keeps you focused and not wasting time thinking you missed something. Second, do the steps of the service exactly the same way every single time. Doing steps the same way each time will alleviate what I call the “bounce.” The bounce is where you bounce back and forth between steps or back and forth between nails wasting time and never being sure if you’ve done everything correctly. This leads you to feel like you need to go back and do it again, which wastes time.

— Shari Finger is the owner of Finger’s Nail Studio in W. Dundee, Ill.

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