Does Your To-Do List Live in the Land of Mañana?

October 16, 2017

The land of mañana is a place I know well. It’s a place I’ve lived in for a while now.

While the mantra of Costa Rica is pura vida (pure life), those who actually live here are more familiar with a different saying: the mantra mañana.

Mañana translated means tomorrow: that the work will be done mañana, that the delivery you’ve been waiting for will arrive mañana, or that the leaking sink will be fixed mañana. It’s a saying similar to “the check is in the mail.”

The well-known but often ignored issue is that it doesn’t always arrive mañana and the work doesn’t always get done mañana. It’s why I titled my book about living and being an entrepreneur in Costa Rica Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana: Wildhearted Living in an Imperfect World. And because I know that for so many solopreneurs and small business owners, their to-do list lives in the land of mañana, too.

Related: 5 Steps to (Finally) Stop Procrastinating

How often do you feel like you have 18 different things that you have to do right now? Things that never get done, that you just push off or push out. Maybe you move the deadline, or maybe you just take it off the list so you don’t have to see it anymore. It’s stressful, frustrating and exhausting.

As a solopreneur, you’re likely used to doing everything: launching new programs, building websites, working with clients, writing copy, managing social media… Those 18 different tasks sitting on your to-do list keep getting moved around like Brussels sprouts on a kids’ dinner plate (or really, my own plate).

With your to-do list constantly hanging over your head, you don’t have time for self-care, which massively limits your personal growth and development, and hinders the growth of your business, too.

So how can you start actually ticking off those tasks on your to-do list today?

1. Prioritize your work.

We tend to add items to our to-do list because feeling busy makes us feel successful, so start by eliminating the things that you really don’t need in your life. Make a clear list of what you actually need to be doing, and concentrate on that. Ask yourself regularly, Where should my focus be?

2. Systemize your business.

Creating systems for payment, customer service and marketing will massively save time and make your life a lot easier when you eventually bring in support. My favorite tools for project management include Asana and Trello. You should also create a document with all your systems in one place—like a virtual business hub—which can be shared with your team as you grow.

3. Schedule and automate.

Scheduling social media is one of the best tricks of the trade for any solopreneur. For this to work well, it’s vital you first produce a plan to tie all your marketing in together. That way, you’ll know that your social media posts are all on-point, have a clear purpose within your business and actually help you bring in new clients.

4. Delegate and support.

As a solopreneur, you’re on your own for every task necessary to run your business. There’s no sounding board, no one to help you set up a new system, no one to manage the back end while you’re out in front showing up for and taking care of your clients. But to help you move forward, you’ve got to delegate the tasks you find difficult or time consuming to someone who could do them better and more efficiently.

In order for you to build your business, to help it grow, innovate and reach more people, you have take control of your to-do list… and stop living in the land of mañana.

Related: 5 Things I’ve Learned About Being a Solopreneur

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