For those of us who have been known to leave difficult or unwanted tasks until the last possible minute, looking at those tasks as opportunities and the deadline as a “window of opportunity” can make us get into gear. This will force you to make the decisions that need to be made and get to work confident in the knowledge that when the “launch” is over you’ll have breathing room to tackle something else.
Photo by Denise Chan
The advice comes to us from the blog The 99 Percent, which reminds us that a deadline can often serve two functions: on the one hand, it applies pressure to get the task done in the timeframe allowed, but it also serves as an ever-approaching finish line that, once crossed, leaves you free to do something else. In essence, it opens a window of opportunity that, once you’re out the other side, leaves you free again. Jocelyn K. Glei writes:
The default take on deadlines is typically to consider them to be cumbersome and stressful. Yet, from another perspective, a deadline can be viewed as a huge benefit to any project. Without the urgency of a hard deadline pushing a project to completion, it’s easy for you, your team, or your client to lose focus. We’ve all worked on agonizing projects where the timeline just bleeds on and on, merely because the flexibility is there.
It’s definitely a shift in thinking, and it requires you to approach those deadlines and the tasks you’ve been putting off in a different light, but if you can do it, you’ll find that your deadlines are things that free you from procrastination, instead of chain you. The article has a few other great tips to help you get started on those annoying things you’ve been putting off, but what about you? What are some of your best methods for fighting procrastination? Let’s hear them in the comments below.
Can’t Start, Won’t Start: Tricks for Overcoming Procrastination [The 99 Percent]