By: Ken Austin
Many of us struggle to stay motivated, self-motivation is an important factor in our everyday lives. Some of us may take self-motivation for granted,
but not everybody has the self-discipline to work without supervision - without constant supervision some of us will always think of "something else more important to do."
Do you wait until the last minute before you begin revising for an exam?
Do you clean up an hour before you are expecting guests?
Do you always wait until your cupboards are empty before going to the supermarket to stock up on food?
Do you wait until the due date of a work report before completing it?
What if you can't find your reference books?
What if they arrive two hours early?
What if the supermarket is closed?
What if your boss needs you to do something else URGENTLY?
How many times have you experienced this sort of scenario?
One way to stay motivated is to ask yourself "what if." There is always the possibility that something will come up which prevents you from performing a task, whether at work or at home. If you bear this fact in mind, you will begin to realise the benefits of completing tasks early. Life often becomes less stressful once you clear your "to-do list" and you are able to enjoy your free time without tasks looming over you.
Why not write down a list of the things you've been putting off until "later." Then write down the worst case scenario of leaving these tasks until the last minute. What better reason to get these tasks out of the way?
Surprisingly, a task which is done at the last minute appears to be done in half the time. The main disadvantage of leaving things until the last minute is that we leave no room for error. You could always treat every task you undertake "as if" it has been left until the last minute - this way, once it is complete, you still have time to rectify any mistakes or issues.
By regularly applying this gentle pressure to yourself, you will get out of the habit of leaving things until the last minute. You will be more self-disciplined and enjoy your free time more.