Continuing through my lessons from motherhood and business, this week is about deadlines.
Well, I do anyway. It seems if I have a whole day to work, I tend to fluff around a bit and allow myself more leeway to waste time.
“I have all day,” I think to myself.
Thankfully a whole day to work doesn’t happen very often! But every week, I have a babysitter come for 3 hours and I get a mass of work done in that relatively short period.
Because I have to. I don’t have a choice. The babysitter is leaving at a specific time and if I don’t have my tasks done by then, they don’t get done, and that’s not good.
So whenever I have the babysitter come, I make a list of the specific tasks I need to achieve and then put a time next to them. I set realistic times for the tasks, so I’m not pushing it too much but also not giving myself time to waste. I set my phone timer for that time and if I work past it, I know I’m probably not being as efficient as I could be. The thing with running a business for any length of time is that you get to know how long stuff should take to do.
It took me a while to set deadlines effectively, but now that I have a very specific list of key tasks and know the time it should take to do them, I find deadlines to be a really effective motivator.
Mini deadlines v major deadlines
Of course, I’m only talking about mini deadlines here. I’m talking about the daily deadline of having to finish a blog post within 30 minutes or a newsletter within 20 minutes. There are big deadlines too – the ones you use to keep you on track for a major project that might stretch over weeks or months. But at the end of the day, even these big projects are broken up into small tasks and it’s those tasks that need a timer!
Trust me. You’ll notice a big difference in productivity.
- Write the tasks down
- Set a specific amount of time for each
- Use a timer to track time spent
- GET IT DONE!