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

June 13, 2013

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.



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.

Do you want to work smarter, not harder?

Download our ebook about how to speed up your nail services.

Download Our eBook
Read more about

How can I prevent lifting when my client's hands are constantly in water?

I have a client who is in the medical field so her hands are constantly in water. She has me keep the length of her acrylic nails short. No matter what I do, she always has at least one nail that comes off, and she always has lifting and gets water under the acrylic. I prep the nails correctly, I have a cuticle bit to clean the cuticle area, and I wipe the nail with alcohol, dehydrate the nail, and prime the nail. What should I do?

We respect your data and privacy.
By clicking the submit button below, you are agreeing with Bobit Business Media’s Privacy Policy and this outlined level of consent.

Load More