In the Air Force, enlisted Airmen take promotion examinations. The exams are based on career field and general military knowledge. Exam points are added to annual appraisal ratings for a combined score. All other factors being equal, top-tier scores result in promotion.
When I was selected for E-9 in 2014, it meant no more exams.
I miss the exams.
Some people procrastinate. The most successful procrastinators use the habit as a forcing function to focus on the task, creating an artificial stress, thereby completing work which otherwise wouldn’t get done.
I don’t procrastinate, but I do use exams as a way to focus energy into areas I wouldn’t otherwise choose. For example, it’d be hard to wake up at 0300 to study Air Force history or the intricacies of fall protection, but with an exam deadline looming, I jump out of bed. (NOTE: the lessons in history and fall protection, among the many others, would prove valuable in subsequent promotions.)
So, after the final promotion exam, I signed up for another certification exam. And another. And just this morning, I’m finishing up an application for the BCSP’s new Safety Management Specialist certification.
What is your forcing function?