DEADLINES: Make them work in all areas of your life

COMMIT TO WINNING: mind your language to get results
SPRING IS HERE: Questions for your first quarter review

I had a major insight today, in the place where I often have insights! Put it this way, I am not sure that Archimedes was in the bath when he shouted ‘Eureka!’ however, it sounds more palatable! Considering that I am motivated by deadlines and targets in my work and studies, I have never put them in place for my personal relationships, love-life etc. Now this is interesting. If I know how I personally operate to achieve success and get things done the most effectively, why do I not implement this in my personal life?

It seems that I am not alone. We often treat the various parts and roles in our life very differently, making up all sorts of rules or excuses as to explain why. However, I remember that in previous corporate life when I did not have specific career advancement deadlines, I lost interest and my performance and enthusiasm at work decreased.

In short, I was no longer motivated as there was not a clear, bigger goal and Vision for me personally to aim for, other than the immediate task. Could this be the case in my private life too? How often do we drift along and put up with things when we would have benefitted by having a clear deadline to work towards and for when we wanted certain things to happen? Maybe this especially applies to the more determined, never-give-up types amongst us.

When we achieve tasks by a designated deadline, we experience a lovely dopamine boost in the brain: the neurochemicals released help to make us feel good. Incidentally, sex, chocolate, exercise and positive feedback induce a similar brain chemistry not to mention illegal drugs!

In case, you are thinking that you are not motivated by deadlines, let me assure you that you are. You may have had to get to work this morning by a particular start time. I bet that you ensure your gifts are delivered in time for Christmas. What about getting on the flight or the train on time? These are all deadlines.

Humans are goal-oriented beings. If we are not focused on achieving progress of some kind, we are going backwards and yes it sounds harsh however, we are probably stuck, stagnating.

So my tip this month is to think about giving yourself deadlines in all aspects of your life. You will intuitively know which part needs a deadline. If things have not altered or you are still not achieving what you desire by the deadline, then you will have created a blueprint for change. This will help you move your life forward positively and powerfully and prevent you from putting up with second-best.