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Christmas is a Motivator

Christmas is a Motivator

11th December 2013

The last two weeks have been busy ones.  Not only have there been the usual training days – booked and designed ages ago – but also there has been the usual, for me, panic that sets in as Christmas approaches.  The personal preparation most of us do like writing cards, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, planning the food, visiting relatives, going to parties.  Sometimes I wonder how we fit it all in but know that, for me, the threat of a deadline and the drive to “get it done” is what motivates me.
The Christmas deadline is certainly motivating as there seems to be a panic over putting in place training programmes for next year.  For the last two weeks we have had several calls looking to set up training programmes for secretarial and business admin staff for next year.   Not that this kind of call is unusual – we get them all the time – only by now we would usually be considering winding down for Christmas instead of having to put on our thinking caps and design new programmes. 
But it is definitely worth it!  This week, for example, after making a short notice presentation to the management board of a potential new client, the feedback was that “What Zee can do for us is a cut above the norm”.   How lovely is that?   And then there’s the glow from having to think hard and write hard to achieve a client deadline.
But actually for most of us, whatever the time of year, having a reasonable, if tight, deadline to achieve is the big motivator.  Have you ever noticed how you will leave that tiny little task “till later” because it doesn’t have a tight deadline?
So whether it is the Christmas deadline, or a project that needs completing, or even a task that has been sitting on your desk for weeks, here are a few suggestions to get you motivated to get things done before and after the festive slowdown.  I hear the words “New Year’s Resolutions” forming in the minds of many of you!   So if you are going to up the stakes on your self discipline over Christmas or in the New Year, always:
  • Get (or put) a deadline on your tasks.  Aim for a specific date and time rather than an “urgent” or “as soon as possible”.
  • Add the task and an estimate of the time it takes to do it on your daily schedule
  • Remember to build in buffer time to allow for interruptions, crises and thinking time
  • Renegotiate the deadline if necessary,  especially if other tasks have a higher priority or a more important deadline
  • Write tomorrow’s to-do list today (preferably just before you go home at night.)
And just think of the sense of satisfaction when you achieve everything you set out to do.  That’s the real motivator.
Have a good weekend when it comes.

Des Whitehorn


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