Are you struggling to reach your goals?
You postpone over and over the moment when you will work on them? You need to set deadlines.
Let’s talk about that.
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So you have set well-defined goals, but it takes so long to reach them that you feel a bit down.
It seems that they are further and further away.
At times, you have a “burst” of productivity and you are able to achieve one or two tasks. But then you don’t touch them for weeks.
But have you considered setting deadlines for each goal?
Because without a deadline, you will naturally tend to postpone forever, even if you are motivated.
And particularly for personal projects or for entrepreneurs.
If you are an employee, you usually already have deadlines because you work with colleagues on a team project. Or because your boss set them for you.
But if you are a solopreneur or working on a personal project, you are alone with yourself. You need to do it for yourself.
Why do we need deadlines?
The perception of time is a stretchable concept for our brains.
The more time we have to do something, the more time we take to do it.
Here is an analogy.
You probably know from your courses in Physics that gases tend to expand and take all the space available, as you can see on the following image:
Why is that?
Because gases are formed by billions of molecules pushed in every direction by collision with the other molecules.
Such that in the end, molecules tend to be as far as possible from each other and occupy all the available space.
Time is a bit similar in my opinion.
You might say that it is a bit far-stretched but just follow me a bit, it will make sense (hopefully!).
Every day your schedule will “collide” with others or your own other activities.
Then the tasks you need to complete to achieve your goals tend to be pushed away. They are “diluted” on all the time you allow them to take.
Thus, the more time you have to achieve a specific task or goal, the more time it will take.
You certainly already experienced a big change in productivity when the exam date was approaching at school or at university.
Or at work, when you have a report due for tomorrow. No more distraction, it becomes an absolute priority.
The “task molecules” are compressed now, no more space to spread to the confines of the Universe, uselessly.
Setting deadlines is thus a very efficient way to keep focusing on your goal and to achieve them.
What are the other benefits of setting deadlines?
There is more to it.
You can benefit from several other aspects of settings deadlines.
Better define your priorities and increase your productivity
When you take the time to set deadlines for your projects, you will naturally define your priorities.
And thus make better usage of your time and be more productive.
Reduce long-term stress
This seems a bit counterintuitive because we tend to feel stressed out by deadlines.
I admit that it induces a bit of stress, but a “good” one. The one that pushes you to take action.
So why do I claim it reduces stress?
Because you are more focused, your mind won’t wander and start to build up anxiety. Also, you will soon start to achieve more.
Getting more things done which an excellent way to reduce long-term stress.
It is far much stressful to feel that you don’t work on your projects than pushing yourself a bit to work on them.
This is something you may not have thought of before.
At least I didn’t until recently.
I started to take part in challenges with tight deadlines. For example, this post has been written in a 100-day challenge initiated by my business mentor Paul Scrivens at Odd Noodle.
By forcing myself to write every two days 1 article, record 1 podcast episode and shoot 1 YouTube video for 100 days, I built a strong momentum on this project.
Set yourself a challenge with a series of tight deadlines and you will be surprised how much you can get done.
Don’t wait years.
Step out of your comfort zone
Quite related to the previous one, setting deadlines will push you. It will help you to step out of your comfort zone.
The sense of urgency will surpass your mental brakes and you will take action instead of finding excuses.
You will see yourself do things you never have thought you would be able to do.
You will grow.
Set these deadlines and go do it.
No more excuses, you can start now.
Trust me, you can do it.
I have done it, and I am no different than you.
When is your next deadline? What challenge will you set for yourself? Please share it in the comments below and let’s start the discussion!