Increase Productivity with Self-imposed Deadlines

January 9th, 2017

Let’s face it. We’re all procrastinators to some degree or another. Some just hide it better. But when faced with a deadline, say getting ready for a vacation or company to come, we’re all about our checklists. And, when you look back, you marvel at all that you got done. However, without the pressure of a target date, many of us tend to meander from project to project without purpose or find any excuse to divert ourselves from the task at hand.

Create your own Deadlines

Those of us of who have chosen a career in a creative/production environment thrive under deadline pressure while our productivity withers without one. That’s why, whether you’re self-employed, work out of the home or just want to get your mojo moving in your personal life, you need to apply your own pressure and create self-imposed deadlines. Here are some tips:

  1. Daily to-do lists: Write it down, check it off and you’ll be amazed at what you get done. Make it your goal to complete your daily to-do list each day.
  2. Break it down: Create small daily goals to accomplish when faced with a daunting task. If your proposal for a RFP is due in four weeks, what needs to be done each day to keep you on track? Create outline, write sections 1-2, etc. Can you clean out one drawer by tomorrow rather than clean the office on your daily to-do list? Seems attainable.
  3. Be specific: Your daily tasks need to be specific. Generalized statements leave too much room for interpretation and too much wiggle room to let you off the hook. Define your task to be “write 100 words” each day instead of “write your novel.”
  4. Set a date: Obviously, every project can not be completed in a day and not every project comes to you with a pre-determined deadline. Be sure to define a date you need to hit for each project and then use your daily to-do list for smaller tasks to meet that target date.
  5. Accountability: What’s going to happen if you don’t hit a deadline? A self-imposed deadline has to be taken as seriously as you would a deadline imposed by a client. There are consequences to missing deadlines!
  6. Get a buddy: Nothing adds a little pressure than a friendly inquiry from a spouse, friend or colleague wondering how you’re coming along with your goals.

If you need help hitting your deadline, because you have just too much on your plate, I’m here to help. Please call me at 303-829-1382 or contact me online today for a free, 15-minute consultation to discuss how I can help.

What are some of your favorite ways to be more productive?