Do your business goals have deadlines?
I used to feel that freedom from routines and schedules would breed more creative thoughts, products and time. But it doesn’t necessarily work that way. Motivation is usually enhanced as a result of something… some catalyst, life event, spark or situation that fires up a desire to take action! Often the best motivator is a secure, hard deadline! When you are self-employed, you do have the freedom to create your own deadlines, but sometimes having more ‘open time’ can really slow down your progress. If you need a good kick… create a deadline for your project and see what happens!
A deadline works as a catalyst, allows you to focus solely on the desired result – and idea sparks may just fly. If you are missing the desire to take action (and stick with the action) then a time-based boundary (deadline) may help… especially if there is some type of ‘reward’ waiting at the end.
How can deadlines help you?
Oftentimes, the items on our ‘To Do’ list stay there because we have no ‘completion goal’.
Sometimes items stay undone because we lack focus and there are other priorities. Although you may have a grand idea, you may not be devoted enough to put time, tasks, money or resources toward achieving them. It’s a great practice to start each work day identifying your Top 3 Tasks daily to ensure they actually get done.
[Tweet “Tasks stay on ‘To Do’ lists b/c they lack deadlines. ID Top 3 Daily; get ’em done… “]
Check your deadline awareness
Do the following to heighten your deadline awareness:
- While reviewing your to do list, assign a specific deadline for each task.
- If tasks continue to appear that do not have deadlines, create a different list: Pending, Ideas, Projects, and move them over, or assign them to a future month when you’ll have more breathing room.
- Review your tasks and identify the payoff for completing the item and getting it off your to do list. Will completing this task pay off in: revenue? additional time gained? ability for others to help you? What is your pay-off for completion?
- Then ask if the cost of completing this item (time, investment etc.) worth the payoff (satisfaction, income, money, reward)?
- Is the task best suited for you? Or might it be better delegated to someone else?
Your Sanity Assignment
List your three most important projects for the next 90 days. Review them against the questions above – and then when you are committed to them, assign a realistic deadline to each.
You may do well to break your 90 day goals up into mini-milestones, and then ‘time activate’ tasks by putting them on your calendar.
For one week – list your top three daily tasks – and assign a deadline milestone to complete by the end of the day.
Please comment on your deadline dodging!
What tricks and tips do you use to knock things off your to do list? Please share your insights and comments below – we LOVE learning best practices from others!