As I started to write this blog, I was sat in my current workplace at the end of the long desk on my personal laptop whilst everyone was working hard before the year end. It’s not just me not wanting to work or because I have nothing to do, I have spent the last few months training two people up to do two aspects of the role I was doing. It was my decision not to take the role permanently, and it is a decision that was hard to make as the people I have worked with have become more friends than colleagues, but evidently I am sticking to my decision. I must admit it is very hard for me to sit back and let two new people get on with a role that I made so tight and efficient. It is by no means an easy journey – there has been many times I’ve gone to the toilet and sat in there crying, it’s hard to let go of something you have nurtured and put a lot of effort in, and there’s also a massive sense of the unknown when it comes to my final day. I think a lift lesson for me here is that it is ok to show emotion (normally I have an exterior that can come across as hard or frosty and I always joke that I have a stone heart) but also another is for me to let go – I have to remember that I wouldn’t want to be doing this role for the rest of my life and I couldn’t just let myself do the ‘normal’ 9 to 5 job. I have so much more to give and to show the world. It’s a perfect time for me to do what I want to do and impact the world the way I want to and dream of.

So, with this motivation and inspiration I guess you could call it that I am trying to accentuate into my life, I am starting 2017 with this at the forefront of my mind and applying it to everything I do. I have started to set myself some self-imposed deadlines. I have an end date for my current contract role, then an incredibly exciting internship which of course follows with a deadline of when it ends. With these work deadlines on the horizon I am going to try and persuade you, and myself, as to why it is important to set yourself some self-imposed deadlines to keep yourself on track and motivated.

Sometimes, they’re enough to fill you with dread. But, love them or hate them, one thing is for sure; they are and will be incredibly motivating for you, me and us. I remember back to my university days when there was nothing worse than a pending dissertation deadline breathing down your neck – but it is one of the only ways to inspire you to stay focused and get sh*t done, basically!

Remember though, I am not talking about the sort of deadlines when your boss gives you an hour to sort ten huge files of market research. When you establish personal deadlines, they’re not as daunting however, we can become lenient with ourselves – giving ourselves a few more days which then turns into weeks, then evidently months. Setting goals and end dates for yourself is important – but so is sticking to them. Using these few key strategies sticking to these goals and deadlines will make it a little easier (I’ve already got a load for myself set out in my 2017 diary).

Establish Mini Milestones

I am not just speaking for myself here, but we all tend to be pretty ambitious with the goals we set for ourselves however, objectives we establish can be lofty at times. Whilst it isn’t necessary a bad thing, it can lead to feeling slightly overwhelmed when it’s time to make some progress.

Whether you want to breakdown larger objectives into more bite-size milestones for example, let’s imagine you’re writing a book and you have the mind-set that you want it completed by the end of next year. For some, this may be ok but why not set yourself different deadlines for each chapter, for editing and spending time with publishers etc. Breaking down larger ambitions into smaller milestones make things more manageable and more accomplishable.

Find Yourself a Partner

Just because you’re setting a self-imposed deadline doesn’t mean you can’t bring anyone else into the mix. Sometimes we need someone to keep us on track and to nag us when a deadline is looming. The one person I have in mind for this role are Mums – they’re so good at keeping you on track, asking about your progress and the thought of them knowing you have deadlines you’re more likely to stick to them, especially with me as I never want to let my Mum down! You don’t have to do this, if you can motivate yourself enough to hit your deadlines, but this may give you a boost if you start to flag.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Whilst leaving yourself enough time to do a high-quality job with your goal, you don’t want to build such a lengthy timeframe that you have zero motivation to get things moving. The mini-milestones are helpful in terms of urgency, as they give you the opportunity to break larger projects into mediate tasks. But, the most important thing for us all to remember is; don’t give yourself way more time than you think you need.

Utilise Rewards and Consequences

Achieving or completing a goal isn’t always enough to motivate you – let’s be honest, sometimes we all need a little something extra to kick you into gear again, keeping you moving forward. Implementing rewards (in my case a big bar of chocolate) or consequences can be effective in keeping you focused. Depending on what type of person you are, you may respond better benefits, whilst others are more motivated by potential drawbacks.

Perhaps treating yourself to a pedicure after completing three solid weeks of marathon training. Or, maybe you won’t allow yourself to attend that party at the weekend if you don’t launch your website before then.

Find what inspires you, whether it’s a positive or negative, and then use that to keep yourself focused.

Let me know how you feel about setting self-imposed deadlines in the comment selection below.

 

 

 

(Feature picture courtesy of Foreign Rooftops)