It’s that time again! Many of you are going back to school, which means… deadlines! Assignments! Those necessary obligations that you really don’t like, but have no other option but to complete and hand in on time!

I may not have assignments to hand in, but I have deadlines all the time, both ones I set for myself and those other people set for me. I also have the “projects” sitting in the back of my brain that need finished so I can “move on.” Recently, a friend asked me how you do something that you NEED to do, but don’t really WANT to do.

Here are some things that work for me (remember, some things you can’t do to music, but many things you can… simply turning on the radio can help a lot of the time if you’re doing stuff around the house).

Schedule it

Many people can’t get something done if they don’t schedule it. Write it on your calendar!

Why? Two reasons:

1)     It “mentally prepares” you to do that project or chore

2)   It “shames” you if you don’t do it when you said you would

Let’s face it, you might not LIKE going to the dentist, but if it’s on your calendar, you do it. DO NOT cross it off until it’s done. DO NOT reschedule it for any reason short of a total catastrophe. That is taking the coward’s way out.

Set one big goal, and easier “smaller goals”

The “big goal” would be “finish editing this novel this month,” the smaller goal would be “ten chapters by the end of the week.” Once you break down a project or task into smaller chunks, it’s much easier to handle and less emotionally stressful. Then you can say, “Well, I met my small goal of cleaning one shelf in my kitchen today,” instead of “I barely made any progress on deep-cleaning my kitchen!”

Make it fun

Whenever she’s not feeling particularly motivated (which isn’t often), my mom will see how much housekeeping she can do on a ten-minute timer. When that’s done, she quits. You’d be surprised how much you can do in ten minutes! You can also see how much cleaning you can do with ONE SONG… or how much you can get done before the commercial break is over. Recently, I needed to get a LOT of writing done in a relatively small amount of time. I set Pottermore potions to brewing on thirty and forty minute timers and wrote as much as possible before it was time to “stir the pot.”

Go by a rewards system

Buy a bag of M&Ms and for every 500 words on that school assignment, eat one… or three. Get your favorite ice cream and once you reach your larger goal, have a bowl. If you hate doing something, have something you love doing on standby as a reward. It can be anything… checking your e-mail, watching a sitcom, taking a walk, chatting with your friends… but use it as a reward, not as a means of procrastination.

Rejoice in success

Small goals being met are just as important as meeting big goals, because it shows you are making progress. Nothing motivates like seeing improvement. Nothing makes you more excited than realizing that the painting is nearly done, and soon the decorating of the guest room can begin. But… rejoice in finishing the painting. Celebrate your small victories! Be excited to have finished that assignment, or triumphed over that hard chapter in your book, or even in having cleaned your closet out.

The most successful people in life take things in little pieces. They aren’t afraid to be proud of their hard work, or to work through things in “stages.” They figure out what motivates them and use that as their key to success.

Go forth and succeed. You can do it (even if you don’t want to)!