4 Benefits of Setting Tight Personal Deadlines

A deadline transforms a dream into a goal; the deadline gives an endpoint to your goal. Until you set the endpoint, you simply had a wish. With a deadline, the timer starts, and your race against the clock begins. The goal is to reach the finish line before the timer falls all the way down to zero.

Deadlines are powerful, and when you understand their power, you can better use them to your advantage. If you want to understand the power of deadlines, you simply need to watch students at the end of the semester, when their term papers and projects are due. They get lots done in a short period of time.

When you set personal deadlines (i.e. deadlines you set for yourself, not deadlines for others such as clients), set ambitious deadlines—and try to beat the clock. Make your personal deadlines shorter than you think you need. You’ll be surprised to see how much more you accomplish.

1. Tight Deadlines Increase Your Focus

Tight deadlines prevent you from wandering around and waste time; they force you to focus. In fact, when you have a tight deadline, you don’t let yourself get distracted, you come out of the rabbit trails quickly, and you spend little time on secondary issues. These are luxuries you can’t afford. You must go straight to the essential. You have one idea in mind: get to the finish line before the timer goes off.

2. Tight Deadlines Stimulate Your Creativity

A tight deadline means you don’t have time to be stuck. If you get stuck, you must get unstuck quickly. That said, your tight deadline doesn’t protect you from meeting roadblocks on your way. What the tight deadline does do is push you to find creative solutions to overcome these hurdles. To meet your deadline, you must be resourceful.

3. Tight Deadlines Reveal Your Capacity

You can do far more than you think you can do. Tight deadlines reveal what you are truly capable of. They put a little pressure on you, which provoke you to step up your game and to let your best “self” shine through. To reach a tight deadline, you must show up with your “A” game and tap into your potential.

4. Tight Deadlines Accelerates Your Results

Parkinson’s law states that a task will expand to occupy the time allotted to it. If you give yourself 2 hours to complete a task, you’ll probably use the entire time. If you had 1 hour only, you’d most likely complete the task within that time without sacrificing the quality of your results. That’s Parkinson’s law. Your 2 hours would probably allow you to indulge in little more distractions.

Tight deadlines ensure you allocate just enough time for your tasks—no more. They drive you to complete tasks faster than you would with long deadlines. Even if you experience delays and have to push back your initial tight deadline, you still finish faster than if you’d have set a longer deadline.

Set tight personal deadlines and witness how your focus, creativity, capacity, and results skyrocket.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.