For some reason, I’m able to get my work done quicker and more efficiently if I’m on a tight deadline. If I’m writing a blog post, for example, the words seem to flow faster and more easily when I know I only have a couple of hours to turn it in. Entrepreneur Dan Martell calls this a “forcing function” and explains how you can use it to your advantage.
Photo by FirmBee.
Stress sucks, but it can be motivating. If you’ve ever put off a project, then miraculously finished it in record time, you can probably relate. However, contrary to popular belief, stress does not make you perform better. So obviously, you don’t want to cultivate it and make yourself miserable all of the time, but you can steal something useful from stress. Martell calls this a “forcing function.” He writes:
A forcing function is any task, activity or event that forces you to take action and produce a result. I believe the best way to work is to put ourselves into a position to execute. Essentially, forcing us to complete a task.
He offers a great example of his own forcing function, and it’s one I’ve used, too. A few times a week, he brings his laptop to a co-working space or coffee shop and leaves his power cable at home. This gives him a few hours of battery life to get stuff done.
That’s when I slam through a bunch of emails, get some serious planning done or design some new product features. There’s something magical about a 3 hour forced completion work session.
I do the same thing when I have a hard time getting over a work slump. Knowing the clock is ticking eliminates distractions you didn’t even know were bothering you. You’re supremely focused on the task at hand, and I find that I can get through my work in significantly less time. That’s the concept of a “forcing function” in a nutshell, and Martell suggests a few additional examples at the link below.