Sunday, July 17, 2011

Selecting Real Consequences For Your Deadlines

We've already talked about how making an artificial deadline can be an enormously helpful tool to get you to increase your writing output, and how it can drive you to feats of godlike productivity.

But your deadlines--and the consequences for not meeting them--need to have some teeth. What types of consequences motivate you to meet a deadline? A reward? A punishment? The loss of some privilege? Try some of these ideas to help your writing sessions become far more productive:

1) If I fail to reach my daily writing goal on any day this week, I'll cancel cable TV for the following month.

2) If I complete my manuscript by the end of the year, I'll reward myself with a vacation to Hawaii.

3) I intend to publish one completed blog post per day for the next month. On any day that I fail to reach this goal, I will let a friend--to whom I've already given my password--post a brutally embarrassing status message on my Facebook page.

That last idea might seem ridiculous to you, but I know of one person who used it to great effect to help her reach a highly useful goal. Sometimes the most motivating consequences are the really negative ones.

Readers, what types of consequences have you used for motivation? Share your ideas in the comments!