Anyone who has worked in the business of sales or has been around it would have been beaten over the head with the power of deadlines.
Or if you’ve read a blog post on productivity or goal-setting, you would have seen deadlines as well.
I’ve fallen in love with deadlines and it’s how I stay productive.
Without a deadline you’re useless.
Let me give you an example. If I have a deadline, I produce twice as many blog posts.
Right now I’m seven days away from going to Europe which means everything I’m currently doing has to be finished quick smart.
Last week I had a day where I had nothing booked, no meetings and no phone calls. I put aside the whole day to write. Instead, what ended up happening was I sat there and watched YouTube, binged on Facebook and read a few articles.
In other words, I pissed the entire day up the wall and had nothing to show for it (nice one Timbo).
If you think about people on the brink of retirement, they suffer from the same problem. They think that when they retire, they can finally travel or learn the piano or spend time with their kids.
When these fun-loving folk finally reach retirement, they don’t do half of what they said they would. They waited their entire life to do the things they love and they don’t do it.
Saving up tasks to complete in the future is a complete waste of time. You need a deadline otherwise you’ll never get to your goals/tasks/dreams.
I make up deadlines.
A little hack I use is to make up deadlines.
Every Saturday is my writing day. It’s when I bust my chops to deliver you as many helpful articles I can, for free, with the most beautiful imagery I can find on the internet, that will inspire you and make you take action.
It’s bloody hard work.
To achieve this enormous weekly task that sucks up all my energy, I put a deadline at the end of the day.
I promise my girlfriend dinner at 6 pm every Saturday which means I have to be done by 5 pm. Failure to meet this deadline involves a slow and torturous death by my girlfriend who will never let me hear the end of being late to a romantic dinner date.
This deadline not only gives me a hard stop to be done writing by, but it also gives me something to look forward to. It makes all the pain and sweat of writing worth it. It’s how I celebrate.
If you struggle with deadlines, then try making up your own one.
Purposely place an event in your calendar right after the goal you want to achieve. Make it something you can’t get out of without experiencing a lot of pain (or in my case ‘death by girlfriend’).
The illusion of free time.
The best habit you can cultivate is to focus on ‘the doing’ no matter what day, time or month of the year we’re in.
The moment you need to set aside time is the moment nothing will happenand you’ll find your long lost friend called procrastination.
“When you don’t feel like it is the best time to work on your goals”
Whenever we have free time, we think we have all day when we don’t. Digital distractions can rob you of an entire day faster than I can drink a Matcha Latte.
Next time you hear yourself saying “I’ll do it during this block of free time” be suspicious of yourself. See through your own BS.
It’s all in the mind.
The battle of achieving your goals takes place in the mind mostly.
“Deadlines are just a way to sort of trick your brain into working with you rather than against you”
We’re wired to be fat, lazy bastards who should be scared of the big, bad world we live in.
Using reframe techniques like deadlines helps our mind think clearly and focus on what we want.
Our million-year-old brain is not there to make us win and so using deadlines is how we can program it to help us win big.
Deadlines are beautiful.
Until you’ve played around with deadlines, you won’t see the beauty in them like I do.
The reason I love deadlines is because they are such a simple hack.
Simplicity is beauty in disguise.
“We’re often led to believe that whatever we dream of in life is incredibly difficult and our chance of success is almost zero. When you discover 2–3 little life hacks like deadlines, you start to see the impossible becoming possible”
I never thought I’d have the time, creativity, stories or knowledge to ever be a blogger. It always sounded really hard.
I then used deadlines, habits, and energy from a clean diet to blog my way to my goals. It’s a beautiful thing when you can see how the world really works through tools like deadlines.
You can win at life.
All you need to do is pick a goal and whack a nice deadline activity at the end of it that gives you leverage against yourself to defeat procrastination.
Give deadlines a shot!
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
A Step by Step Process That Will Help You Make the Impossible, Possible
We have all been there, looking at something and wishing we had it. The girl, the car, the money, the family, the lifestyle…but then we tell ourselves “Yeah, but that’s not me”. The people who get that are cut from a different cloth and we keep telling ourselves that until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We waste the wings we got believing the entire time that we can’t fly and that it’s impossible for us. We don’t even see our wings most of the time. (more…)
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
What Is Dark Motivation and How Can I Use It to My Advantage?
It’s Thursday, 8 PM. I’m relaxing at home, doing normal things, and scrolling social media. Tomorrow is a big day. There are lots of things to do with moving pieces of furniture because I’m moving to another city. On top of that, a repairman is coming to my house at 8AM, so I’ll have to get up early. (more…)
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