Do you get to the end of the day and feel that you’ve met your most pressing deadlines but haven’t accomplished anything that’s fundamentally important? You’re hardly alone. In a series of studies recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research, people typically chose to complete tasks that had very short deadlines attached to them, even in situations in which tasks with less pressing deadlines were just as easy and promised a bigger reward.
It’s natural to want to get deadline-driven tasks squared away and off your mental to-do list. A paradox many people face is that our most meaningful tasks are less likely to have deadlines than tasks that are relatively unimportant.
So, what can you do? Alice Boyes has put together a list of practical strategies and tips.