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A way to create less stressful deadlines is to break large projects into smaller tasks. Set a deadline for each task instead of just one final deadline.
Regularly spacing the deadlines out will give a sense of moving forward, which can motivate you to complete the task.
The Yerkes-Dodson law states that the more mental arousal there is in doing a task, the more efficient a person becomes. After you get to a certain threshold, your performance begins to decrease.
An appropriate quantity of stress should inspire increased productivity.
Difficult tasks require low levels of stress, while easy tasks require high levels of stress to trigger mental arousal.
The next time you set a deadline, try placing a rush deadline for easier tasks and set your deadline far out for more difficult projects.
While we recognize our own procrastination and try to curb it via self-imposed deadlines, these aren't always as effective as deadlines set for them by others.
If you don't have a boss or project sponsor who's setting deadlines for you, it might be worth asking someone to become your accountability partner.
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Most people work best with hard, external deadlines. A deadline requires you to focus because you have to deliver.
But when we create arbitrary due dates for ourselves,
You must hold your deadlines to yourself just as firmly as you would to others. The key is creating external accountability for internal deadlines.
We often put milestones off by months or even years. And putting your internal deadlines on the back burner will keep you from growing. You may rationalize your excuses, but it can have huge implications for your business or career.
Though deadlines can often help you avoid procrastinating, research also shows that they don’t always work, and there are situations where increased flexibility can be better, in terms of personal productivity.
As such, you should always assess the situation at hand, in order to determine whether setting deadlines will help you or not.
“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy ..."