leave it until tomorrow

You’ve probably heard people say that in Spain they leave everything mañana.

Whether it’s X, Y or Z.

Mañana, mañana, mañana.

Before moving here, I didn’t think it was true but oh boy I do now.

They seem to tackle procrastination like a sport!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the slow pace in which Spanish people go though their day to day life but when you’re really busy, or something is important it can become very frustrating.

This “leave it until tomorrow” has the cheek to creep into my work life on occasions.

It really bugs me and to combat it, I have to really pull myself up and be disciplined. 

I know for sure I’m not on my own though, many business owners struggle with this.

Perhaps your reading this right now nodding your head thinking “yeah I get that too”.

The best part of running your own business… We have no one to answer to.

With that said, it’s also the perhaps the worst part of running your own business.

Of course, it’s 99% good but simple fact is, if we choose to procrastinate NOBODY is going to jump in and say, “hey get back to work”.

There are certain mistakes business owners make to intensify their procrastination without realising and there are certain things we can do to reduce it:

  1. People usually think the task is harder than it is. If you break it down into little chunks it becomes much more manageable. 

This allows you to just focus on one thing at a time instead of getting anxious about the entire task.

  1. The environment that people work in can often be a distraction. If they have their emails open, many tabs open, other work that needs doing on their desk. 

Optimising your workspace can really help you concentrate on the one thing you’ve been putting off.

  1. People are putting too much on themselves. They write a massive to do list that could take them decades to achieve.  It is natural for us to want to tick everything off our to do list. 

You are better off having a “could do list” which could be as long as an elephant trunk but then picking the most important thing on the list for your “to-do”.

  1. Some people let their day rule them instead of them ruling their day. Answering emails and phone calls immediately and always responding to immediate tasks.  This often leads to the important stuff not getting done.  The best way to deal with this is to have a routine. 

Have different days for tasks i.e. Marketing days, client work days, procedure and growth days, family days.  You don’t have to respond to an email immediately just because it’s popped in our inbox.

If it’s a long project, then create a timeline and put specific deadline dates on it and add time into your dairy to keep to this.  You could also use apps and planners to help with this.

  1. People that work on their own have to be extra disciplined as they have no one looking over their shoulder. Getting an accountability partner can be the best thing to stop you procrastinating. 

Having them know what needs to be done can often embarrass us into achieving it and if it doesn’t add a penalty/reward scheme.  Set a date for the task and if you achieve it you get a certain reward and if you don’t come up with a penalty which would make you uncomfortable.

  1. Some people are eternally “getting ready”, perfectionism can be a big part of procrastination. However, in business sometimes good it good enough

If you are one of those people that but things off because you think something is not quite ready – just take the first step! You can always amend it over time to make it better.

  1. Lastly, people are too hard on themselves. We feel we have let ourselves down when we have a bad day productively. Celebrate the wins, there is always something good to find out of a day.

Forgive yourself if you’ve procrastinated, try to look at why so you can be aware of changing things for if you do it again.  Draw a line under it and move on …. Success is a habit, not a destination.

Tracy