The Importance of Writing Deadlines
If you’ve ever been around me in the month leading up to my birthday, you know that I have a pretty serious deadline-driven personality. I am constantly reminding myself and others about upcoming events and activities, both because it helps me get things done on time and because I like to be reminded of what’s coming up in my life so that I don’t forget about any important events (or birthdays). But not everyone is as driven by deadlines as I am. In fact, some people are downright afraid of deadlines—and with good reason! Deadlines can make us feel like we’re running out of time or under pressure from someone else. Sometimes they make us feel trapped or frustrated when we don’t meet them or when they’re unreasonable (like when your boss asks for three reports by tomorrow morning). Because of this fear, many people avoid setting goals at all costs—but as we’ll see here today: avoiding them doesn’t help either!
Deadlines are a good motivator for action and help you create a sense of urgency around your goal.
Deadlines create an artificial sense of urgency, which can be helpful when it comes to getting things done. Think about it: if you were asked to complete a task that didn’t have any deadlines or expectations attached, how likely would you be to actually do it? Probably not very likely at all–your brain tends to take more pleasure in avoiding problems than solving them; this is why people find themselves procrastinating on tasks like filing paperwork or cleaning their apartments (or even just doing laundry). Deadlines force us into action because they give us something specific that needs to be done by a certain time (and yes, I know these examples sound pretty silly).
Deadlines help you prioritize your tasks.
As with Amazon Prime order priority in 2 days, prioritizing our responsibilities, goals, etc helps us to know what to do and what can wait and build out a nice schedule for ourselves. Prioritizing your tasks, forces you to focus on the most important ones and avoid distractions, procrastination, and other time-wasters that could get in the way of making progress toward accomplishing them. If you tried to work on all of your goals and set the same deadline, but everything is at a different priority level (thus not EVERYTHING needs to be done right NOW), that would be utterly exhausting trying to finish everything all at once. Setting various priority levels helps us to free up time, and not waste any of our precious energy, or time. It could be as simple at a red, yellow, and green priority level. Red is urgent, yellow is moderately urgent, and green means take your time. Then as you work through your list by color, you can rearrange them as they change priority.
Deadlines hold you accountable.
Deadlines are a good way to hold yourself accountable. If you don’t meet your deadline, it will be obvious that you didn’t do what you said you were going to do. You’ll lose credibility and look bad in the eyes of others who might have been depending on your work being completed on time.
If you miss a deadline by even one day, it can feel like an eternity as each hour ticks by with no progress being made toward the completion of the task at hand. You may find yourself feeling frustrated with yourself because every moment wasted feels like another step back from where you want your lives/careers/goals/projects/etc., which makes us feel worse when thinking about getting started again tomorrow morning!
Deadlines keep you on track and increase focused.
Deadlines are your friend. Deadlines keep you on track, focused on the task at hand, and help keep your priorities straight. They also help keep you disciplined! Deadlines can be a great motivator for achieving goals too. If someone is offering a reward for completing something by a certain time, it might motivate you to work harder so that you can collect that reward later on down the road. Positive reinforcement is a great way to keep to the deadline.
Deadlines encourage you to reach out for support when you need it most.
Deadlines are a great motivator. They can help you get things done, and they can also encourage you to reach out for support when you need it most.
When you are close to a deadline, the pressure will build up inside of you until there is no choice but to act–even if that means asking someone else for help! If there is something difficult or challenging in front of me right now (like writing this blog), then it’s likely that I’m going to ask my editor or another writer at work for some feedback at some point between now and when this article needs publishing. This happens all the time: even though we’re all capable writers who know what makes good copywriting content effective, sometimes we still need someone else’s input before sending an article out into the world because deadlines encourage us to reach out for support when we need it most!
Closing in on a deadline can be motivating.
As you get closer to your deadline, you’ll feel the pressure build. You will start to see the finish line in your mind and this can be a really good thing for your motivation. When we see something that we want so badly–like achieving our goal–we are motivated by it and want nothing more than to reach out and grab it with both hands!
Deadlines are a great way to keep yourself on track and focused on your goals. They can motivate you to take action and help you prioritize your tasks. But, as with any tool, it’s important not to use them in excess or fear them too much. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by deadlines at work or school, then take some time off from setting them, and always remember that revising your deadlines is a positive move in an effort to keep moving forward.
Written by Jessica Cassick, M.S., PhD(c)
Jessica Cassick is the CEO of ImagineWe Publishers (Est. 2016), a single mother, a writer, a scholar, and a published author of most of the original children’s Mission Books published in 2018. She uses her writing talent to explore and research a plethora of topics across the publishing world as well as on sense-of-self building, post-traumatic growth, and success. She is a passionate entrepreneur who previously lived life in fast-forward; achieving as many goals as possible with a future-focused mindset. She is now learning to slow down and find balance and peace in the present.