Updated: September 16, 2021
When you’re setting deadlines for yourself, make sure you select the right deadline. You have to understand the reason why deadlines exist in the first place. They’re not just about putting some chronological restraints on a particular project.
While there’s a lot of value to that, there’s something more to deadlines that strict, time-based parameters. The main reason why deadlines work is because they force people to take action before a certain time passes.
In other words, they push people to do things that they normally would not do. Let’s face it, people being people would rather kick the can down the road, or better yet, don’t do what they’re supposed to do at all.
That’s the basic truth about the human condition. Doesn’t matter where you come from, doesn’t matter how much education you have. This is true for all people.
With everything else being equal, we’d rather not do anything that is outside of our comfort zone. We’d rather do things that we’re accustomed to. This is why big projects often terrify us.
We know what we’re supposed to do. We know how much good achieving these things will have in our lives, but we can’t quite get ourselves to do it. How come? We’re scared of change.
We’re afraid that we might have to give up certain things. We’re afraid of putting in all this time, effort and energy only to come up short. The last thing that most people want for themselves or their families is to try really hard only to come up short and fail.
This is why they give themselves all sorts of excuses and deadlines terrify people. Well, here’s the problem. When you set a deadline that is so far out into the future, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.
Sure, from time to time, you are able to do things right on time or even well ahead of schedule. But let’s get serious here. How often does that happen? In fact, if your like most people, you can probably count that with one hand.
When we set a deadline far into the future, the rest of our lives catch up. There’s all sorts of duties, obligations and responsibilities competing for our time. This is why we run out of time constantly because if you set up a deadline long into the future, there will be all sorts of new stuff taking up your schedule.
If you’re not careful, by the time the deadline comes, you’re just as unprepared as if you had set up the deadline to a much earlier date. You see how this works?
So, don’t give yourself so much time that you constantly run out of time. Instead, set up a realistic deadline so as to maximize the value of the deadline. In other words, the deadline should motivate you to action. It should get you to take action right on time. That’s how you set the proper deadline.
Of course, you shouldn’t set the deadline so close that it scares you. In fact, it can be so scary and intimidating that you end up paralyzed.
To learn how to tap the power of proper scheduling to maximize your personal effectiveness and efficiency.
This is Adriel, until we meet again.