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Productivity's Greatest Enemy

focus goals less stress productivity Aug 01, 2021

Have you ever thought, “Getting This Thing done will be no problem. I have the WHOLE DAY.”  😂😂😂

But then, you found yourself at the end of the day rushing to try to get The Thing done?

Right.

If Productivity were a Superhero, her mortal enemy would be Having The Whole Day.

Tasks expand to the time we allow for them.

Have you ever noticed if you have 2 weeks to meet a deadline, it takes the whole 2 weeks? But if you have a 2-day turnaround, you shove everything aside and just get The Thing done?

When we have a tight deadline, we become laser focused.

Have you ever gotten so into “the zone,” your eyes dried out because you forgot to blink? And even if you took a break, you came right back to working on The Thing because you Had. To. Get. It. Done? Nothing and no one could stop you from your mission. You were all… “Outta my way, distractions!” And somehow you made the deadline? (Or got very close.)

When we have a tight deadline, we prioritize.

We don’t have time for other nonsense. When I have one of those weeks where I’m not sure how I’m going to get everything done, I start axing things from the list. I’m all…

“This doesn’t have to get done until next week.”

And…

“I’m going to cancel this call and that other meeting. Both could be handled with an email anyway.”

Do you see what I mean? When you don’t have time for things that don’t matter (or matter less), you don’t allow them to steal your time or focus.

When we have a tight deadline, we don’t scroll.

How often do you feel the crushing weight of getting The Thing done and spend 5-45 minutes scrolling Instagram before you get down to business? Never. Because the deadline would be constantly tapping you on the shoulder reminding you it was sitting there preparing to eat you.

So what does this mean for you? Should you live in a constant state of pressure and panic and unrealistic deadlines?

I don’t know? Is that your vision for Future You? Constant stress?

No?

Okay, well then we’ve got some work to do.

You’ve got to harness the power of deadlines on purpose.

1. Don’t wait (procrastinate) until a deadline is forced upon you.

Maybe that keeps happening over and over which why you know what I’m saying above is true. Deadlines do work. But now that you know that, you don’t have to wait for someone else to do it to you. 

2. Schedule tasks for the amount of time they need.

Let go of the, “I’ve got the whole day” thing. No more! Need to get your writing done? Give yourself just the morning. Or just a 2-hour block instead of the “whole day.” Need to finish a big project? Do a significant portion of it this week. Don’t pick a big time span like a year. Pick an amount of time that’s going to apply a little pressure.

3. Get outside support.

If you thrive with cheerleading or check-in’s (accountability)… tell someone, “I’m going to get my new website up by Friday.” And then ask them to check in on you. Even better if they’re working on their own thing and you’re going to check in with them. I meet with my mastermind group a few times a month. Every time we meet we set the goals we’re going to achieve by the next meeting and then we have to report on our progress. I do not like saying, “I didn’t do it.”

Remember, there’s no greater enemy to productivity than having the whole day. 

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE

Ask yourself…

Which tasks am I letting expand longer than they need to? 

How can I give myself a deadline for that thing?

Who can I ask to be my support buddy? (And then ask them!)

You’ve got this!

Love,

Mel

Your 5-Star Life Coach ⭐️

P.S. Want to be more productive? Stop telling yourself you have the whole day.

P.P.S. Agree? Grab this graphic and share it on social!

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