Perfectionism prevents productivity. We get anxious about whether the work will be good enough, before we even make the first mark. There are techniques that I use that help quell this. Even though I am very productive, I too face the blank page or the next step with my heart in my mouth. Here are my tricks:
1) artists pages- I think of this as the garbage dump. I use this technique especially when I am beginning a new, public project...when I will be called on to perform; meet lots of new people; when I feel like I am "leaping off a cliff" in the studio. I write 3 pages or 15 minutes, anything that comes to mind...ANYTHING! It helps me externalize and put to bed my worries.
2) Exercise- I am no athlete, but walking everyday is essential to my energy and my ability to focus clearly in the studio. Walking meditation.
3) Remember - perfectionism is an idea, not a destination. It is, in fact, unattainable.
4) Materials are only materials- They are not precious in themselves. I use the mantra "It's only paper."
5) Rehearse expensive materials- When materials ARE expensive, there are ways to rehearse next steps. I use photography and Photoshop to rehearse drastic changes in projects that are advanced or use more expensive materials. I can slice and dice and recolor in Photoshop to my heart's content.
6) It's not rocket science, bridge construction or surgery- No one is likely to die from what we do
7) But what we do IS important! It is key to our humanity, health and happiness.
8) Be not afraid! And if you are...do your work anyways!
9) While outcomes matter, try to let go of deadlines and dreams of masterpieces and allow yourself to PLAY and EXPLORE with your materials.