If you are having trouble finishing all your tasks, and generally have a feeling of always being overwhelmed, here is a solution for you: Deadlines!
Yes, deadlines. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? A deadline is a time commitment you make to yourself, and it can absolutely revolutionize your business.
You’ve probably heard of Parkinson’s Law which states “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Mr. Parkinson developed this understanding by studying a bureaucracy where the employees had very little incentive to complete their work in a timely manner. They didn’t really care if the job got done today or tomorrow or even next week, and the system wasn’t set up with leadership pushing them either. So if you have eight hours to complete a two-hour task, the job will automatically increase in complexity and get tougher to complete. You just proved Parkinson’s Law!
That’s not how the winners work. They always work with a self-imposed deadline (or the boss demands a deadline). The winners never give in to Parkinson’s Law.
Winners set deadlines for everything. They love the challenge to perform under the pressure of the clock. They treat the deadline as an unbreakable commitment; they make it like a competition, not against someone else, but their to-do list against the clock. What they don’t do is start their work day by spending 20-30 minutes checking their email. That task gets a deadline too, no more than five minutes; once the to-do list is done you can spend some time checking emails, Facebook, and Twitter.
Here are some suggestions:
- Make out your list with most important tasks first
- Set a realistic deadline for each goal
- Begin each task with a sense of urgency
If this has been a problem in the past and you want to really challenge yourself, once you have your list and have determined how much time it will take to complete the entire list, cut the time in half. Don’t let this mean sloppy or incomplete work, but really push yourself to get things done quickly. You’ll learn to focus your efforts, avoid time wasters and make your workday shorter and more enjoyable. You will be much more productive without feeling stressed.
Remember these important thoughts:
- Deadlines represent commitment
- Deadlines enforce accountability
- Deadlines create a sense of urgency
Look yourself in the mirror and commit to meet every deadline. You’ll be able to say “Life is good with National Agents Alliance!”