Set more urgent deadlines

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.

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@ethho

Time Management

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

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.

Share your goals and progress

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.

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. 

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.

Set multiple deadlines

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.

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RELATED IDEAS

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.

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IDEAS

Why deadlines are effective
  • They can reduce the likelihood that you will procrastinate.
  • They help make your goals feel more concrete, by attaching them to a specific timeline.
  • They help you pursue your goals and complete tasks in a timely manner by serving as a precommitment device.
  • They can also help you get things done on time by providing you with structure.
The more time we are given to complete a task, the longer we will take to do it. 

This is similar to Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” 

We often procrastinate if we do not set deadlines, especially if the expectations of difficulty and importance are unclear.

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