There is a certain category of tasks that languish on our lists because they lack a firm deadline. Catching up with filing is one example; everything with a deadline can come before filing. Writing a book or developing a new product can be another example unless you have a publisher and a contract, in which case you’ve got a deadline with teeth.
To effectively follow through on these types of tasks, create a meaningful deadline for yourself. To keep up with filing, schedule a regular meeting in your office. Knowing that respected colleagues are coming creates the incentive to spruce up your space, dealing with whatever paper piles have accumulated since you last filed. (Of course, schedule 30 minutes to file before they arrive. Merely applogizing for the mess is not allowed!)
Announce your book or other project plans to the world. Add a line to your email signature that says, “Coming, November 2009: 25 Ways to Get It Done Now, a new book by (your name here)” By making your intention public, you have created a deadline where none existed naturally.
If you need help to reach your goal, arrange for accountability with a partner or coach.
Do you have plans that are going nowhere for lack of a deadline? Declare your intention and your deadline here.