Monday, July 6, 2015

The Rise and Shine Deadline Club!

Your reunion is next week and you never dropped the forty pounds you gained since high school graduation.
The book report on War and Peace is due Monday and you never read past Chapter One.
You were one of the several million sweating bullets at midnight on April 14 while you downloaded IRS forms.
Welcome to the Rise and Shine Deadline Club! 
We pray for mercy and hope no one notices the weight we gained, the book we didn’t read, or the headaches we gave ourselves because of our procrastination. 
Given another chance, we vow to never do this to ourselves again
If you are truly serious this time, here is a guideline.
1.      Define what the goal (diet, deadline, demand) means to you. 
Is it as important as the demands everyone else makes of you and your time? Is it important enough to affect change in your habits?  It is not going to happen magically.  It is going to take work, lots of work, so are you willing to scuttle your ships and get up off your duff, and do something about it?

2.     Realign your work schedule. 
Make time and portion out your day so you can make time for your family and obligations, church and work hours, AND YOUR OWN PERSONAL GOALS. 
We each have our own circadian rhythm, so when are you the most productive or most able to work on your goal?  Scheduling time to work on your goal is imperative.

3.     Design your work area. 
Preplan for optimal success.  If you are easily distracted by your surroundings – tempting foods not on your diet are readily accessible, your work or study area is too distracting, then move things, get rid of things, and find ways to help you focus.

4.     Redline your output. 
Figure out how to get the most out of yourself.  Notice it says “the most” not “more” out of yourself. Give yourself a daily goal, a weekly goal, even a monthly goal.  Make it the most you can expect of yourself on an optimal level.  Make it measurable - so many minutes per day to work out, so many portions of food per meal, so many words read or written per day, so much done by a certain date, etc.  
Remember also to allow for setbacks.  Give yourself a week or a month cushion time before a deadline.  It not only allows for setbacks but for “real life living,” times when you cannot fit in a workout or a diet plan or a day to do paperwork.

I use an egg timer to keep myself on task in the little pockets of time throughout the day I can work on my writing.  If I have to read and review a book by a certain date, I divide the number of pages in the novel by the number of working days minus one week, so I can finish the book ahead of time.  
If you work on using time to your benefit, you will have lost that weight, read that book, kept up with your finances. 

Before you know it, you will outshine your deadline!

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