3 ways to stay motivated despite movable deadlines

It is important to know how to find self motivation when you are dealing with unstructured timetables and deadlines that can change from one moment to the next.

Unstructured time and changing deadlines can be very frustrating and can cause motivation to dwindle away.

Motivation can also sometimes be difficult to recover in these types of situations unless we can find a way to put more prediction in the unstructured time and changing deadlines.

Most of us find motivation somewhat easy to get when we are dealing with structured situations. Going to work is a good example of a structured situation. We get out of bed each day and go to the office or factory and put in our eight hours, sometimes not really wanting to.

But we find the inner strength and desire to do so day in and day out. The reason we do is that if we don’t we don’t get paid and can actually lose our jobs. The need for an income to support our families is the source that motivates us to get to work even when we don’t want to.

There are many tasks in life that have unstructured time tables and changing deadlines. A simple example might be getting the house painted. If you are a working person, like most of are, you only have time to paint the house on the weekends.

However, most house painting projects are not just a one weekend event, but rather a project that can take several weekends to complete. Moreover, the deadline for completing such a project can change because of weather conditions or other events that interfere.

So how do you stay motivated to complete your painting project when time is unstructured and the deadline changes?

The thing to do is to put structure into your time. This is fairly easy to do if you:

1. Break your projects down into smaller pieces.

Taking the house painting example, rather than trying to paint the whole in a weekend, break the overall project into smaller projects.

For example, scrape the old paint away on one Saturday morning. Then the following Saturday morning apply your primer. Then the next Saturday morning paint one side and the final side on the next Saturday.

The point here is to put structure in unstructured time by breaking projects down into more time manageable pieces as it relates to your ability to complete the smaller pieces.

When you put structure in time where it was unstructured before you will find more motivation to complete the overall project as you complete the smaller ones.

2. Be flexible but do something!

Movable deadlines can be a source of frustration, discouragement, and pressure, all of which can then affect our motivation.

Deadlines move for a variety of reasons, many of which are beyond our control, like the weather interfering with getting the house painted before the party you planned to have in a few weeks.

But here again even though the rain today has prevented you from painting the house today you can do other things that you were going to do next weekend and paint the house next weekend.

3. An effective way to cope with movable deadlines is to be flexible and able to change your schedule.

Unstructured time and movable deadlines can affect our motivation. By nature we are creatures that feel more comfortable and motivated with stability and prediction in our lives.

When time is unstable and unpredictable we can become confused, frazzled and frustrated because unstructured time and movable deadlines require us to change something.

The key to staying motivated in these situations is to remain flexible at all times and adapt ourselves and schedules to meet those changes.

For help with motivation contact Liz Kentish, The FM Coach on Tel: 01778 561326 / 07717 870777 or email: coach@lizkentishcoaching.co.uk

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report that reveals how to crush procrastination and sustain lasting motivation. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: stay motivated

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