Monday, April 27, 2020

Create your own deadlines and bring some structure to your life and work

Essentially I’m a very lazy person. I don’t do anything unless I absolutely have to.

The way I manage to get things done is to set public deadlines. That way I can’t escape!

In these times of endless todays many of us lack structure in our lives.

One day bleeds into the next and it’s very easy to go with the flow and not get much done.

Even with no lockdown, that’s pretty much how my life can be!

It’s especially hard if you work for yourself and have nobody to report to. Most jobs have deadlines built in or a boss to report to.

The way I function is to create my own deadlines.

It’s not enough to put something in your diary or on your to-do list, if there’s a way of avoiding doing it, you will.

You need to make your deadline public.

Letting the whole world know that you plan to do something creates a sense of obligation. It would be awful if you let everyone down. Now you’ve promised something, you’re going to have to deliver.

It’s a common tactic with things like weight loss and exercise. Tell all your friends and family (or announce on Facebook) that you’re planning to lose 10 pounds or run 5K. Then there will be people watching who can hold you to account.

I set myself the task in 2006 to write one post a week on my blog. Now, almost 14 years later, I have kept my promise. I know the world won’t end and I won’t get into trouble if I don’t write a post every Monday. But I have a sense of obligation which spurs me on.

If I want to create a singing workshop on a new theme, I set a date and announce it on my website. In that way it means I have to go and find new songs and make new arrangements. There will be people booking on the workshop and I’ll need to deliver.

Many is the time I feel too tired to lead a singing session. But if it’s in the diary, venue booked and singers coming, it’s enough to motivate me to prepare and get my act together.

If you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, extend your singing range, arrange a song, write a book, learn to juggle, but never seem to get around to it — now is the perfect time.

Set yourself a (realistic) deadline and let everyone know. Don’t be too ambitious. If you’re planning to write a novel, create a deadline for the first chapter. If you’re going to learn an instrument, break it down into manageable steps.

Let us know what you’re planning and we’ll cheer you on. We’ll also be there to make sure you keep your promise!

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Chris Rowbury




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