Necessity is a force that we all can conjure when we need to when our deadlines are tight, or we have our backs up against the wall, somehow we manage to get the job done. That is because in those moments we have the necessity. We know what is on the line and we have a deadline.
Necessity tends to be seen when we have real deadlines that have to be met. It is why athletes train harder in the last few weeks in the run-up to a competition, sales numbers increase in a couple of weeks before the end of the quarter.
Necessity is a powerful driver for results. However, this type of necessity is negative. It is pressure-based, and whilst our motivation will be high during this time. It drains our energy both physically, mentally, and emotionally a lot quicker.
In this blog, I will show you how to embrace necessity in a positive way that you will be able to use all of the time.
But first, let us understand the basics of performance necessity.
Performance necessity has four main factors. Two of them are internal, two are external.
Necessity requires an identity of a target or goal, in most cases, this is based on performance targets, but it could also be based on having to pay the bills or making sure your landlord is paid on time.
Necessity can come out of nowhere, one minute you are carefree the next you are being swallowed whole by deadlines. This is the life of most university students.
But this too is a common occurrence in the workplace. So how do we reverse this, from pressure to true power?
As mentioned above to unlock performance necessity, there are two internal factors they are:
- High Personal Standards And A Commitment To Excellence
- Obsession With Understanding And Mastering A Topic
Let us break these down.
High Personal Standards And A Commitment To Excellence:
The first part of the quartet is this, you have to be willing to set yourself challenging goals. Only when we are challenged, can we commit to one hundred percent to the task.
When a task is easy, we either:
- Leave it to the last minute
- Do a half-assed job
Easy goals do not challenge us so we have no need to put our full effort in.
Writing a two thousand word essay:
When I was in university, I wrote the majority of my coursework the night before, I would have all the research done within the first two or three weeks, then procrastinate for the next month until it was the night before, then I would pull an all-nighter.
Why is this? Quite simply it was not challenging, and so I kept putting off the work. I had little interest and was only motivated by the deadline. Writing two thousand words today takes me less than two hours, but back then it would take five or six (with the distractions of Youtube) on top of this.
We do this too often in the workplace too. We focus on the shiny tasks that provide us with a challenge and forget about the mundane tasks until they are nearly due. Then we become in a rush to get these tasks done, spending more time and energy than what we should of.
Part of this force is having the power to self-monitor or check-in.
It can be hard to see the urgency in getting the mundane boring tasks done, whether that is admin-based or not as it always has been for me.
But, this work still needs to be done, whether you do it now or later. So if we can self-monitor ourselves to make us do this mundane work, when we have time in our days, then we can start to generate performance necessity.
It also means that we do not have to work late or panic later down the line.
The other part of this force is you have to be willing to set new standards. If you are not willing to up your game each and every day then you are going to struggle, and life will remain mundane.
It is only when you come into the office, and become better than you were the day before do you stand a chance of true growth.
Obsession With Understanding And Monitoring Of Topic:
Obsession gets a bad wrap these days. It is okay to be seen as passionate, but to be obsessive is seen to be a bad trait.
To a certain extent, this has come from Hollywood and TV series, especially cop shows that show the lunatic killing the victim because they had an obsession with them.
But not all obsessions are bad! Most are helpful.
When we become obsessed with a topic, we can be considered to be deeply curious about that one topic. We focus on that one topic and go deeper into that topic.
For me, this is a mindset. I have been on a mission to learn more about how we can change our mindset to become more productive and make more money. This topic incases:
The deeper you dive into something the more you are making a commitment to learning a wider and deeper range of material.
This can be done with anything from musical instruments to building companies, to helping others.
It is only when we are willing to go past the social norms can we truly become obsessed with our topic and our purpose.
Obsession is not a bad trait, you are just willing to devote more time to learning and growing in one specific area.
So now we will move on to the external forces.
- Social Duty, Obligation, Purpose
- Real Deadlines
Social Duty, Obligation And Purpose:
We will always do more for others than we will for ourselves. It is part of our human nature to want to help others.
When you ask the owner of a business why he is doing what he is doing they will always answer by stating that they are doing this out of a duty or obligation, that it is their purpose in life.
When we feel that we are doing a particular task to help others, we are more likely to do that task straight away, rather than leaving it to the last minute.
We leave tasks in our work to the last minute, because we usually do not have that sense of purpose or obligation. There is little on the line for us.
This also applies to the essay example. Whilst I had an obligation to hand the work in, I did not truly care about the quality of the work. Preferring to spend my nights drinking rather than learning.
It is only when it affects others do we start taking these responsibilities and tasks more seriously.
This is the one that I think we all understand. We can only have necessity when we have a real deadline.
But what is a real deadline?
A real deadline is when the world will end, or there will be significant consequences for either yourself or someone else if the work is not done.
Anything else is a person’s preference, which we do not need to worry about.
Whenever starting a new task, you should always set yourself a real deadline. When does it need to be done?
Why does it need to be done by this date?
Now the first objection I usually get is well… there is no real deadline because it is something I want not need.
When I hear this I always sit back and smile to myself. The answer to this is easy. Go onto your social media, and announce what you are going to do and when by.
That way you have set yourself a real deadline because if you miss that deadline you become a liar. You break your integrity. You fail.
This is the simplest way to meet a deadline.
Raising your performance necessity is not a difficult concept, when you realise, that there are only four areas to master.
When we take control of these areas, when we no longer allow ourselves to accept less than to always be on our A-game then we start to succeed.
Until tomorrow this has been your coach Andy.