Pressure tends to be synonymous with negativity. When we’re under pressure to produce something, we often feel stunted or limited. However, pressure in some forms can be a use for good.
Anyone who knows me, or has read even just a couple of my posts, will know I procrastinate…. A lot…. I’ve recently learned that my procrastination stems from many things, sometimes it’s laziness, and sometimes it’s fear masking itself as laziness. One things for certain though, regardless of why I procrastinate, the truth of the matter is that I do.
If you give me a choice of an evening of relaxing in front of the TV, playing a video game, enjoying some junk food, or watching Friends for the millionth time (we’ve made our way up to season 10 last weekend; the end is finally in sight!), OR, an evening working hard on my dream. I’ll pick the former; never the latter. I know dreams don’t just fall on your lap, and I know anyone who has made it to anywhere has done so with a large degree of motivation, persistence, and will. Following your dreams is often hard, sometimes tedious, and can be quite stressful. That negative voice in my mind has a lot to say about them, usually along the lines of “The sooner you try, the sooner you fail” or “If you start writing, you’ll learn you can’t write”. And so, because my dream has no set deadline, besides that I which I set myself, I fail to amount to following them.
This idea that I need a deadline is one I’ve addressed before, and it’s something Greg and I have identified whilst discussing the future of Level Up Photography. As neither of us were able to secure leave from work to follow this dream (more on that in a future post), we have had to ask some difficult questions.
The main question was: “Do we still want to do this?“.
The answer was a firm: “Yes”
This lead to the question: “Can we do this?”
The answer was a little longer.
I mentioned this on Fridays post, but I’ll break it down into a little more detail here. We had decided that, in between paid work, we became lazy and unmotivated. We rested on our lorrels and waited for customers to come to us. We both had full time jobs that we could stand and that paid well, there was no pressure to draw in my clients, no pressure to get the website fully functioning, no pressure to… Do. If we wanted to still do this, which we did, we had to make a change. This change had to be both in how we worked and how we saw ourselves. What we needed was more drive, what we needed to do was more work, and one of the best motivators for that, we felt, was a bit of pressure.
Now, don’t get me wrong, too much pressure can go the wrong way; it can be a source of stress and anxiety, it can lead to us procrastinating even more. However, a little pressure, can be a big influence. Together, we’ve set dates, we’ve set deadlines. Together, we’ve listed the tasks that needs doing and assigned ownership. There’s pressure on me to work, because I know Greg is working. There’s pressure on Greg to work, because he knows I am. There’s pressure on us both to work, because we have deadlines that we want to hit for the benefit of us both. Pressure, when used effectively, when used within a plan that is achievable, can be a fantastic motivator.
We are having a Motivated May. We are under pressure to do more for our company than we’ve ever done before and, for the first time in a while, I feel pretty damn motivated about it.