When Leaving Things To The Last Minute Is Sometimes Best

leaving things to the last minute

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 Vileda 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?


Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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12 Comments

  1. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    January 19, 2015 / 6:09 am

    Hi Eva! Yay for Mummy Mondays being back for 2015! Haha I totally agree – I spend way too much time on things, but if I’m in a hurry, it’s done in no time! I think I need to trick myself into thinking that everythings due right now! 🙂

  2. January 19, 2015 / 6:35 am

    Yay for Mummy Mondays! I like to plan, write checklists, do things ahead but I’m also an excellent procrastinator. Or I start things and don’t finish them. Deadlines definitely help! Now what was I supposed to be doing…

  3. January 19, 2015 / 6:58 am

    Hey, that’s a trick of Motherhood – that skill of the last minute.
    I too, used to plot everything out and while I would get excellent results, these days with six kids, I just don’t have that luxury. Everything is last minute or in the moment as I prefer to say. (Sounds Buddhist that way!) I like to think it’s the same result too. ☺️
    So lovely to meet you at the Bloggers Brunch in Melb! I hoped you loved my city! Xx

  4. January 19, 2015 / 8:53 am

    Welcome back Mummy Mondays for 2015! A looming deadline definitely gives me the push I need to get my work completed, otherwise you’re right, it just lingers around.

  5. January 19, 2015 / 9:06 am

    Last minute is how I fly. I don’t think there’s a choice with my time stealing kids around.

  6. January 19, 2015 / 9:46 am

    I definitely work better under pressure. I’m terrible for procrastination and getting overwhelmed if I have to much time to do something. If I have a deadline there’s no room for panicking about it, I just have to get it done.

  7. January 19, 2015 / 10:12 am

    I am exactly the same! If I start something way before its due I’ll overthink it way too much and usually just procrastinate, but if I start something the day before its due then I can get it done really quickly. I think I actually work better when I’m stressed. Same as cleaning too, I can get more cleaning done in 15 minutes before T comes home or someone comes over than I can if I start it in the morning.

  8. January 19, 2015 / 10:51 am

    I am a total last minute girl! Always have been, always will be! I work way better and get more done under a deadline. Like you, it totally focuses me.

  9. January 19, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    I am always last minute… One thing I am striving towards this year is being more organised.. as a result hopefully I won’t be so last minute anymore….

  10. Tash from Gift Grapevine
    January 19, 2015 / 4:12 pm

    Welcome back Eva! I used to be super organised and always do things in advance but since I’ve had kids, most things often get done at the last minute. Do they get done just as well? In my case I’m not quite sure. I must admit that I don’t like the feeling of being so rushed! I find it harder to focus. I’m still a huge writer of lists – something about that nice feeling of ticking off a completed task. I’m a bit of a nerd like that 🙂

  11. January 19, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    I like giving myself time to get things done but I totally agree with you that sometimes it is better to do things last minute. Especially the housework. I always procrastinate with that!

  12. TeganMC
    January 22, 2015 / 6:57 pm

    I find last minute tends to work better for me too. As long as I can push aside the freaking out about how little time I have. I also find just banging out a blog post and then scheduling it works better for me because otherwise I just get too critical.