We all know the importance of deadlines. No matter what we are trying to accomplish – a project, a milestone, a goal, a target, etc. – they need to have a clear and specific deadline. But why exactly?
In my case, I started this blog since 2015, and to date, it has almost 500 articles published. And I dare to say that a huge part of my consistency is due to deadlines. Without deadlines, I will never know when to write, when to publish, and this blog will never be where it is today.
Hence, success is largely about setting the right deadlines.
You hear me, I’m not saying that any deadline will work, you need to have the right deadline. The realistic ones. And I’ll talk more about setting realistic deadlines in a short while.
For now, let’s focus on why having a deadline is important for your success. If you want to achieve your goals, there is no way you can get away with having a good deadline. Here’s why…
1. Deadlines Give You a Sense of Urgency
One of the most powerful functions of having deadlines is giving you a sense of urgency. Without knowing when you should complete a project, how do you know when to do what to do?
And when there is no urgency, guess what will happen, you will put things off. You will procrastinate.
Like, if I did not set my deadline to publish every Tuesday and Thursday on this blog, I will choose to do something else. I will either procrastinate or focus on other stuff.
This is why having a sense of urgency for your goal is extremely important. It gives you a clear idea of when to complete a certain action step.
And without this sense of urgency, no goals can be achieved. In fact, goals without a deadline is not a goal at all. It is merely a wish.
2. Deadlines Allow You to Plan and Schedule Accordingly
Yes, if there is no proper time frame for your goals, there is no way you can plan your action steps accordingly.
Think about it, if your goal has no deadline, how are you going to plan what you need to do? When do you know when you need to take action? You can’t.
This is why a goal having no deadline will never work. Your deadline determines your strategy and your plan.
Imagine you want to start a business and you want to hit the million-dollar profit mark, but you don’t set a clear time frame for it as when to happen.
Guess what will happen. You will take your own sweet time and probably even after ten years down the road, your business is still merely surviving, fail to hit the million-dollar target.
On the other hand, if you have a deadline for it, say you want to do it in 3 years. Then you know what to do each year and how to increase your volume, manage your sales, marketing, etc.
Remember, a goal without a deadline can never work. If you want to achieve your goal, you must include a deadline, and be serious about it.
3. Deadlines Keep You Accountable
This is easy to understand. Your deadlines keep you accountable. When you don’t know when to accomplish something, you will never do it. All you know is you will do it or get there “someday”.
But too bad that someday never exists in our day. There is a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but there is no such a day as a someday.
I remember vividly when I was studying at the university, all of my tasks and homework came with a deadline. Without a deadline, there is no way you will get your assignment done, isn’t it?
Luckily, there are services where you can help with your homework done. If you have no time, you can check out the assignment help from Edubirdie.
4. Deadlines Can Motivate You
Besides keeping you accountable, a deadline can motivate you to work harder too.
Imagine you need to present your work to your boss next month and you still have plenty of time. So, you take things easy. You enjoy your days and play games.
But when the deadline is near and you left only 3 more days to do it, you started to feel the pressure. The deadline somehow becomes the drive that forces you to work on the presentation.
This is why having deadlines for your goals are important. If you are 100% committed to your goals, you will stick to your plan and do whatever it takes to achieve them. In other words, you will follow the timelines you have planned and take action.
5. Deadlines Help Prioritize Your Life
Finally, deadlines are vital because they can help you identify what is important and what is not. When the deadline for a goal is near, you know that you need to get it done and give it a priority.
In other words, deadlines make your life more effective. When you know what is important and what needs to be done immediately, you can become more productive.
How to Make Good Use of Deadlines
Now you know the importance of having a deadline, but do you know how to make good use of it? Most people don’t, and this is why most people fail at their goals and never see their projects to the finish.
Setting a deadline for your goal is not something you should look at lightly. When you are being unrealistic and you set deadlines that will never work, you are actually setting yourself up to fail.
On the other hand, when the deadline you set is perfect, you are setting yourself up to win.
Your deadlines can help you achieve success, or make you fail. Think about it.
Here are a couple of tips to make sure the deadlines you set are good…
1. Set a Realistic Deadline
First, the time frame you set for your project or goal must be realistic.
For instance, many people want to be a millionaire. They want to earn a million dollars in a year. Sadly, to most people, this is not a realistic deadline.
In order to achieve your goals, your deadlines must be realistic. And how do you know your deadlines are realistic? Well, it depends largely on your own capabilities and resources.
For example, say your goal is to write a 300 pages book.
If you are working full time from 9 AM to 5 PM every day, and you have a family to take care of, you only have an hour to write every night and probably 5 hours during the weekend, setting the goal to finish your 300 pages book within a week or a month is unrealistic.
But if your deadline is a year to complete the 300 pages book, then it is a more realistic deadline.
What if you are a full-time writer and all you do is to write? Then yes, you can solely focus on writing and complete the 300 pages book within a week or a month.
Thus, whether a deadline is realistic or not is subjective. It depends on the person who set the goal, which is you.
Make sure that the deadlines you set are helping you and not sabotaging your success.
You want to set yourself up to win. Hence, give yourself the right time frame to achieve your goal.
Suggested reading: Setting Realistic VS Unrealistic Goals: What You Need to Know
2. Embrace Failure and Bounce Back
What if the deadline is up but you fail to accomplish the goal or the project? Well then, don’t lose hope. Take it as an experience and learn from the feedback.
You must learn to embrace failure and bounce back. There is no way you can always win. There will be times you will lose.
When you win, you celebrate. And when you lose, you study the feedback and learn the lesson. And then you come back stronger.
This is how you can become better and better. This is how successful people achieve all their successes in life.
Deadlines are there to help you, not to make you fail. Remember that.
3. Deadlines Don’t Mean Lousy Quality
You have to understand that deadlines are there to keep you accountable and to give you a sense of urgency, not to force you into completing the task for the sake of it.
When the deadline is near, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore the quality and just get the work done for the sake of hitting the deadline.
What you want is to produce great work, and great work requires focus. Don’t compromise the quality of your work just because you want to get it done fast.
4. Get Others to Involve
If you want your deadline to be even more powerful and effective, get others to involve in your goals or projects.
When there are others and you have partners, you will become more committed to hitting the deadline because others will keep an eye on your progress.
You can get someone to work as your accountability partner and send your progress report to him or her every week. This way, you will make sure you are committed, your partner will keep you accountable, and the deadline will be clear and specific.