Everyone has a backlog of work they need get done at one time or another, but actually getting to it can be a daunting task. One way you can help yourself take it on is by imagining you're preparing for holidays and you need to get it done before you leave.
Picture: Michael Coghlan/Flickr
The holiday is not just a deadline, it's a deadline that you look forward to. It's a light at the end of the tunnel that motivates you to complete every last thing you need to do. Productivity expert David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, recommends applying that mentality to your work at the end of every week:
Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it's not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. I just suggest that you do this weekly instead of yearly.
One important thing you want to be wary of is that you don't rush your work and do a poor job. You also don't want to burn yourself out. So it's best to save this tactic for the end of your work week so you can recharge over the weekend, and enjoy your days off without the stress of your backlog looming over you.
You can't completely fool yourself into thinking you're going on holidays, obviously, but the key to this mindset is sticking to your tasks and avoiding frivolous time wasters. Just imagine that you're in pre-holiday crunch mode, focusing on tying up loose ends before you jet off into the sunset. Once you've tackled your backlog once, it's much easier to maintain if you keep at it regularly.