The Power of Setting An Impossible Deadline

Remember when you were in school and the first day of class your teacher handed out the syllabus for the semester? Right there in black and white she’d given you the due date for that semester’s big project. You had about 14 weeks from beginning to end to get it done. Maybe you were the type of student who worked through the semester a little at a time to get it done. Or, were you the one who always ended up pulling a couple of all-nighters to get over the finish line? Regardless of which camp you were in, you probably finished the project in time to meet the deadline. A set due date ensured you’d complete the task.

Before I owned my own company, I worked for more than twenty years in a creative environment that was extremely deadline driven. Nine time out of ten when I’d assign projects to a writer or a producer or an artist I’d hear, “there’s no way I can meet that deadline!” Well, guess what? Nearly 100% of the time they did.

In my business and my personal life I have many, many deadlines. No doubt you can relate!

Deadlines to finish a project
Deadlines to send invoices and pay bills
Deadlines to pay quarterly taxes
Deadlines to schedule doctor and dentist appointments
Deadlines to make hotel and flight reservations
Deadlines for car repairs and oil changes
Deadlines to take the dog to the vet

My list—like yours–could go on and on.

Even so, deadlines exist for a reason. Setting firm deadlines is one of the best ways to maximize efficiency. They have tremendous power in helping us get things done. Think about it…a list of tasks without deadlines is simply a “wish list.”

The deadlines I listed above are somewhat mandatory (I, for one, don’t want to mess with the IRS for missing a tax deadline), but many others I set for myself aren’t mandatory. I set them anyway because I know I’ll get more done in less time if I use the power of deadlines. One of my deadlines this week was to organize the silverware drawer. Yea! Done!

If you have a few long-term projects that don’t necessarily need to be finished by any specific date, I can almost guarantee you won’t even start on them unless you have oodles and oodles of free time (and who has that?). Those long-term projects will just sit there while you’re busy meeting all your other deadlines.

Interestingly, if you give yourself a deadline to complete all, or at least a specific portion, of that long-term project, there’s a good chance you’ll finish it while still meeting your other deadlines. If there’s no pressing time frame, make one up.

Consider setting a few self-imposed deadlines:

A deadline to organize your office space
A deadline to clean out your email inbox
A deadline to unplug and recharge
A deadline to make plans for your summer vacation

No doubt there are 1000 things you could add to this list, the point is by creating deadlines you’re more likely to follow through with whatever it is you want to accomplish. Deadlines will magically propel you into action.

One more thing. If you’re a true procrastinator, committing yourself to a deadline and then telling someone else about it is a powerful motivator.

After you’ve made your list and set your deadline, be sure to call At Your Service if you need or want help getting things done. 314.994.1382 or email us. We’d love to help you out!

One Response to The Power of Setting An Impossible Deadline

  1. Pingback: jesse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fully Licensed And Insured For Your Peace Of Mind.