Your ideal stress level
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.
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It is naturally harder for us to concentrate on a task or measure progress on a project when we're bored.
To overcome this, turn the task into a game and include rewards, to make it more fun and motivating.
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.
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.
If you lack motivation and don't manage to meet your deadlines, try to set a more pressing deadline for yourself. This will give you a sense of urgency to complete the task.
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.
The term 'planning fallacy' was coined in 1977 and deals with how most of us are terrible at estimating how long a project will take. We are overly optimistic but terrible at predicting the future. If the project has a budget, we may underestimate that expense too.
The Sydney Opera House was commissioned in 1957 and had an expected completion date of 1963. The budget was 7 million Australian dollars. After the plan had been scaled back, it was completed in 1973 at the cost of $102 million.
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