Deadlines are a very powerful workforce that identifies the most important tasks, creates focus, and pushes us to get things done. That’s why projects without deadlines get on our to-do list for weeks, months, or even years. In this article we will talk about this problem and after a short introduction, we will introduce three strategies to motivate the completion of projects without deadlines.
Sometimes this to-do list is rooted in the project being vague, tedious, or unclear. It is natural for such a project to be removed from our list of priorities, because working on it bothers us. But sometimes a project does not have such characteristics, and postponing it depends on the circumstances: that is, we have tasks with deadlines that we need to address more. That’s why we do not have the opportunity to reach projects without a deadline.
Most of the time, we are not blamed by others for not working on such projects. Only we feel bad that we can not do them and that we have left them untouched for a long time. In addition, when something is important but does not have a deadline, the employer may turn to him at any time and worry that we have nothing to offer at such a time.
Let’s skip the problem and see what the solution is. How do we motivate ourselves to do what we want or need to do without a deadline? In the following, we will introduce 3 solutions to solve this problem.
1. Determining the deadline
If projects do not have a deadline, it does not mean that we can not set a deadline for it. For example, we can set a specific deadline for the completion of the project and set aside time each week to complete it. Or set aside a specific time of day to do related work.
Write down the commitments you have made to yourself in this regard. The best choice is a calendar in which you write down the tasks and the date of their completion. If you know you have nowhere to go when there is a busy schedule, set a time when your head is more secluded and you can really live up to your commitment.
When you set a deadline for completing a project (or parts of it), you will have a better understanding of its priority. In addition, such a situation makes you feel the need to work.
As you think about scheduling your tasks, identify the number of tasks that do not have a specific completion time that you need to address. If you have a lot of these things, you will increase your chances of progressing by doing one of them every month. If you want to do all the unfinished work without a deadline at once, you are more likely to get bored in the middle of the road and not stick to your commitments.
۲. Involve another person or persons and create positive pressure
Sometimes things go awry only if we use someone else’s help. When we share our schedule with others and keep them informed of the latest updates on our activities on a regular basis, we find ourselves motivated to move things forward.
Some people have a special person who prefers to talk to them about their goals and report on the work process. This person can be a co-worker, boss, friend or anyone else. There are others who prefer to make more people aware of their decision and make it more public. They do this by sharing their decision with a few colleagues, or posting their goal on social media. You can choose one of these two options. Of course, choose the second way only if your colleagues or audience do not forget your decision and follow the process of your work.
Another way is to ask someone to help you move the project forward and work on it together. Set aside a specific time of week or day for this collaboration. If you can’t find a co-worker, try choosing a room or office where someone else is doing their own thing. The best thing you can do in the second case is to let that person know about your work and talk to them at the end of the day about what you did. This communication and being close to the other person increases your responsibility, because he knows what you have to do during that time.
This has another advantage: it creates a small work environment in some way and reduces the annoying feeling that you are working and others are having fun.
Choose one of these ways that you feel most comfortable with and that you think will be most effective in motivating you. All of this carries with it a degree of responsibility, so even if there is no real deadline, a sense of frustration or resentment will make you do something.
3. Use of incentives
The last way we introduce motivation is to use persuasive incentives. This solution can be implemented in different ways. You can start this way: Consider rewards for doing your job. For example, arrange to spend an hour on the project and then have lunch. Or, for example, when your research is over, spend the afternoon tidying up your office. These rewards are not going to be too big and lavish. Consider rewarding activities that your heart desires.
If these rewards were not significant incentives and did not work, use the second method, which is to consider fines. For example, imagine that you will not be allowed to watch your favorite TV show if you do not spend a certain amount of time doing your work without a deadline. The main idea is to consider being deprived of a pleasurable activity that you normally do as a penalty. This will reduce the chances of ignoring something you do not have to spend time on.
The last resort is to consider a bigger reward at the end of the day. For example, arrange to go to a coffee shop, restaurant, or park after work. By using this method, you combine enjoyable experiences with the need to focus on something that you may not be willing to do without that incentive.
Regardless of which motivation you use, keep in mind that you have a relatively difficult and challenging path ahead. Do not rush to find free time and do it carefully. When scheduling a project task, stick to the promise you make to yourself and do not shy away from doing things. Engaging others can also have a significant impact.
If you have another way to motivate and promote such projects, or if you have a comment on this, please share it with us and our “how” readers.