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Keep Your Feet on The Ground While Deciding Time-Frame For Your Goals

Keep Your Feet on The Ground While Deciding Time-Frame For Your Goals
Sand Deadline

    Any task that you take on needs a deadline and so do the tasks that you need to accomplish to reach your goal. Deadlines allow you to concentrate on the job at hand and not let time just drift by. If you don’t set timelines you are likely to realize that many weeks have passed by and you don’t really have any work to show for them.

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    However, there are certain guidelines that you need to follow while setting deadlines. It requires a fair amount of balancing between being too easy and too difficult to meet. They need to be realistic. Even as you may wish for all your tasks to be finished by the next morning, you know that it is not possible or feasible to set such a deadline. If you are too anxious and pumped up to reach your goal, you are likely to set deadlines that are too close for tasks that may genuinely need time. The end result of these deadlines tends to be frustration at not having completed the task on time and leads to de-motivation and de-moralization.

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    On the other hand, setting a deadline that is too easy and double of the time frame that you think is required will only take you into inertia. Such tasks will fill up time and shall be completed just before the deadline date even when they could have been completed much earlier with a little more effort on your part. The worst part is that finally when you do complete the task, the sense of achievement is not high since you know that you could have completed it in half the time.

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    Realistic and good timelines are based on knowledge, resources, money and the smaller steps that are linked to achieving the goal. There is also no need to get overly contemplative about the date. Just put a date down while trying to be realistic. You can always extend it or complete the task before the deadline if you realize on the way that you will need more time or money or if the task is an easy one after all and can be completed earlier.

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    Once you have put the date down, don’t start to change it almost immediately because you suddenly start having self doubts and cook up excuses for the impossibility of the task. A date decided stays till you review the project later and decide to modify it. Let not self-doubting thoughts come in your mind and cloud your judgment.

    But defining the deadline in the first place is critical since it decides the speed with which you will finally reach your goal!

    Vishal P. Rao share his insights and tips on holistic living at Relishing Life.

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    Leon Ho

    Founder of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

    What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

    Ah, Inbox Zero. An achievement that so many of us long for. It’s elusive. It’s a productivity benchmark. It’s an ongoing battle.

    It’s also unnecessary.

    Don’t get me wrong, the way Inbox Zero was initially termed is incredibly valuable. Merlin Mann coined the phrase years ago and what he has defined it as goes well beyond the term itself.[1]

    Yet people have created their own definition of Inbox Zero. They’re not using it with the intent that Mann suggested. Instead, it’s become about having nothing left in immediate view. It’s become about getting your email inbox to zero messages or having an empty inbox on your desk that was once filled with papers. It’s become about removing visual clutter.

    But it’s not about that. Not at all.

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    Here’s what inbox zero actually is, as defined by Mann:

    “It’s about how to reclaim your email, your atten­tion, and your life. That “zero?” It’s not how many mes­sages are in your inbox–it’s how much of your own brain is in that inbox. Especially when you don’t want it to be. That’s it.” – Merlin Mann

    The Fake Inbox Zero

    The sense of fulfillment one gets from clearing out everything in your inbox is temporary at best, disappointing at worst. Often we find that we’re shooting for Inbox Zero just so that we can say that we’ve got “everything done that needed to be done”. That’s simply not the case.

    Certainly, by removing all of your things that sit in your inbox means that they are either taken care of or are well on their way to being taken care of. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is often applied to clearing out your inbox. But unless you’ve actually done something with the stuff, it’s either not worth having in your inbox in the first place or is still sitting in your “mental inbox”.

    You have to do something with the stuff, and for many people, that is a hard thing to do. That’s why Inbox Zero – as defined by Mann – is not achieved as often as many people would like to believe. It’s this “watered down” concept of Inbox Zero that is completed instead. You’ve got no email in your inbox and you’ve got no paper on your desk’s inbox. So that must mean you’re at Inbox Zero.

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    Until the next email arrives or the next document comes your way. Then you work to get rid of those as quickly as possible so that you can get back to Inbox Zero: The Lesser again. If it’s something that can be dealt with quickly, then you get there. But if they require more time, then soon you’ve got more stuff in your inboxes. So you switch up tasks to get to the things that don’t require as much time or attention so that you can get closer to this stripped down variation of Inbox Zero.

    However, until you deal with the bigger items, you don’t quite get there. Some people feel as if they’ve let themselves (or others) down if they don’t get there. And that, quite frankly, is silly. That’s why this particular version of Inbox Zero doesn’t work.

    The Ultimate Way to Get to Inbox Zero

    So what’s the ultimate way to get to Inbox Zero?

    Have zero inboxes.

    The inbox is meant to be a stop along the way to your final destination. It’s the place where stuff sits until you’re ready to put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it.

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    So why not skip the inbox altogether? Why not put it in the place where it sits until you’re ready to deal with it? Because that requires immediate action. It means you need to give the item some thought and attention.

    You need to step back and look at it rather than file it. That’s why we have a catch-all inbox, both for email and for analog items. It allows us to only look at these things when we’re ready to do so.

    The funny thing is that we can decide when we’re ready to without actually looking at the inbox beforehand. We can look at things on our own watch rather than when we are alerted to or feel the need to.

    There is no reason why you need an inbox at all to store things for longer than it sits there before you see it. None. It’s a choice. And the choice you should be making is how to deal with things when you first see them, rather than when to deal with things you haven’t looked at yet.

    Stop Faking It

    Seeing things in your inboxes is simply using your sight. Looking at things in your inbox when you first see them is using insight.

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    Stop checking email more than twice per day. Turn off your alerts. Put your desk’s inbox somewhere that it can be accessed by others and only accessed by you when you’re ready to deal with what’s in it. Don’t put it on your desk – that’s productivity poison.

    If you want to get to Inbox Zero — the real Inbox Zero — then get rid of those stops along the way. You’ll find that by doing that, you’ll be getting more of the stuff you really want done finished much faster, rather than see them moving along at the speed of not much more than zero.

    More Productivity Tips to Get Organized

    Featured photo credit: Web Hosting via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Merlin Mann: Inbox Zero

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