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Toad-ally got this: Debbie Palmer

In property management, there are plenty of jobs you might want to put off. Debbie Palmer has a solution for overcoming procrastination.

One of my favourite stories that I share in my coaching and training sessions is about what was thought to be an incurable disease within the property management department.

The story starts as most do. Once upon a time, there was a man with an incurable disease known as toadulitus. He had consulted many doctors and specialists, but no one had a cure for him.

He expanded his search further to the internet, where he discovered that in the remote jungles of Africa there was a village elder who had discovered a cure.

Once he arrived in Africa, he jumped into a 4WD and drove into the jungle until he stood outside a large tipi tent.

The man met with the village elder, who told him, ‘To stay alive, you must eat a toad every single day for the rest of your life.’

Often, once you act on the task is not as bad or as challenging as it may have appeared.

At that moment the man was in shock. The thought of what he had to do each day to survive was overwhelming.

The toad in this story is a metaphor for the worst possible tasks in property management that you are putting off each day; that insurance claim.

Contacting a difficult landlord or tenant, attending to paperwork, arranging maintenance requests, clearing your daily emails, as well as many other tasks you know need to be done… Not so much the little things, but the one big task.

The moral of the story is to eat your toad first-up to avoid feeling overwhelmed and losing a little of your confidence. Putting off eating the toad can prevent you from working to your greatest capabilities each day.

Often, once you act on the task is not as bad or as challenging as it may have appeared.

Learning to eat your toad can be life changing!

If you find yourself in the position of having to eat a toad (or, more aptly, have a task that has been placed in the too-hard basket), ask yourself, ‘Why am I putting it off?’

There are several reasons why we procrastinate, here are a few:

  • We fear the reaction or outcome
  • We fear confrontation
  • We have made a mistake and don’t know how to correct it
  • We are not sure how to communicate the situation to someone
  • We are not sure how to resolve an issue
  • We are not sure how to tackle the task.

If you do avoid eating your toad(s), it can actually impact other areas of your life, such as your health and confidence levels.  You will find it hard to get through other tasks because at the back of your mind you are constantly thinking, ‘I must ring Mrs Smith’, or ‘I must attend to that task’.

If you are putting off a task because you are not sure where to start or how to handle the matter, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help.

Eating your toad is like working your muscles out at the gym. The more you eat your toad, the stronger you will become in tackling the things you often put off.

Each morning when you arrive at work, team up with a buddy, look them in the eyes and ask, ‘What’s your toad today?’ Let them know what your toad is and say, ‘Let’s go and eat them now!

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Debbie Palmer

Debbie Palmer is the Managing Director of the PPM Group (a national company specialising in property management workflow systems, training and coaching). Debbie is a multi-award winner for property management excellence and is well respected for facilitating in the process of creating high performing, productive and profitable teams. For more information visit ppmgroup.com.au.