Time management tools are lifesavers when you are under the gun. Now is the perfect time to transform your deadlines into rewarding exercises in productivity. This fresh approach can enhance your confidence and your peace of mind, too.
The “muscles” you develop to meet deadlines with ease are life skills. They are beneficial in every area of your life. Deadlines simply provide extra incentive to sharpen these skills.
For a fresh approach, think of deadlines as a series of workable boundary challenges. As you rethink boundaries’ potentials, you will develop your ability to improve the final outcome. This success can generate enormous vitality and curiosity. And you can readily distinguish between hard and soft deadlines, making time management that much easier.
- Understand and respect your hard deadlines. – Let’s start with hard deadlines. They are themselves time boundaries, where something must occur by a specific time and date. Meet your deadline, and you enjoy a positive outcome. Deadlines are excellent opportunities to develop focus and self-reference, because they require setting boundaries for yourself and possibly for others. Identify how a successful outcome will benefit you, so that you are personally invested in taking this important risk.
- Tune in to your power potential. – Then, work to assimilate that the deadline is fully your responsibility to meet. This heightens motivation to set internal and external boundaries. Think of these boundaries as your lifelines, because they help you to make good choices and to follow through.
- Identify your hard and soft deadlines. – Soft deadlines provide an interesting counterpoint to hard deadlines. More like guidelines, they are movable. Provided that they don’t fall off your to-do list, they can be rescheduled to better manage hard deadlines. An example is raking leaves in autumn. You want to gather them sometime before the snow arrives, so you won’t be left with a sodden mess on your lawn in the spring. But you enjoy some flexibility as to when.
- Use soft deadlines in tandem with hard deadlines. – To reduce the pressure of hard deadlines, you can create a soft deadline well in advance of the hard deadline. Another tactic is to employ the “x two” rule when creating your schedule, by building in extra time for each step.
- Create a “due date” master plan. – Your next step is to coordinate your various hard and soft deadlines. You can build in adequate buffer to ensure you schedule time to sustain your emotional and physical health. By focusing on your inner wellbeing, and releasing non-essentials, you shift from an outward-looking scarcity mentality to a self-referenced inner abundance mentality.
As you shift your energetic approach to boundaries, you can focus on how meeting deadlines is really activating power points to build trust, to generate more confidence in yourself and to enjoy more pleasure in your productivity.
Well then, what will be your next step to reclaim your time and relate with more ease by establishing boundaries?© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.