Leaving things to the last minute….is good!
I’ve been running my current business for about 8 months now and have come to a point where I know what works well for me and what doesn’t in terms of productivity. This is also a result of a previous business that I had, but I’m going to talk about what I’ve learnt from that business in another post about failure.
What I do know is that I tend to take longer than I should on various tasks than I should. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that I try to do things too well. I over analyse things. I strive for perfection. And I’ve figured this is a result of giving myself too much time.
If I go right back to my university days, I always gave myself ample time to finish an essay. During the process I would revise, and revise and revise. I remember sitting with my uni mates the day the essays were due, listening to them tell me that they only started their essay the night before, I remember myself thinking ‘there’s no way that’s going to be a good essay’. But do you know what? They actually did do well, just as well as I did, and I gave myself a week or more to complete the same essay!
Similar situations have happened to me through my university and work life and even my personal life. I have since learnt (and it’s only been quite recently) that if I actually give myself less time and work much closer to a deadline that I’m actually WAY more focused, I’m less critical of my work, I don’t procrastinate and I just get the job done with similar (and sometimes better) results. Adopting this approach has not only reduced my stress levels and removed lots of worry, it’s saved me tonnes of time because I’m working more efficiently.
The same goes for stuff at home. The online grocery shopping is a perfect example. I’ve done my grocery shopping days beforehand and what do you know, I’ve found myself ‘browsing the isles’ and looking for specials. But, if I do it the day it’s due, within a few hours of closing time (they give you a cut off for next day delivery) I’ve been able to get my online shopping done in a jiffy because I know I’ve got a deadline and I’m super focused on exactly what I need to put into my trolley.
Another example is my housework. If I were to start cleaning on a Friday morning, it will take me hours because (typical me), I get sidetracked. But, if I leave it to the afternoon, say a couple of hours before Mr. G gets home from work, whip out my mop, my goal is to have the house looking spick and span by the time he arrives home…I don’t stop until it’s done!
Seriously, I do not know why it’s taken me this many years to figure this out and I never ever thought I’d be one to leave things to the last minute, but I swear by it.
So can you see how it can work? Gone are the days I give myself plenty of time because that’s just an invitation for wasted time and less focus.
What works best for you, more time or last minute?