Keeping Momentum and Knowing When to Stop Using Artificial Deadlines

I am writing a special report for Hive subscribers and I have come to a realization. I need deadlines. I hate them but I need them. Sound familiar?

Without a deadline I don’t know where to stop. I scope-bloat, I gold plate and ultimately I don’t finish. With a deadline I stress but I do complete my work and get it out of the door.

So my solution is to create an artificial deadline. This will not work without pressure so I have told Ryan I will finish by end of today. If I do complete the report then my deadline is met. If I do not finish on time then I have let Ryan down and I have broken my promise.

I didn’t say it was fun, but it is working to focus my efforts and stop me getting distracted. Well, other than telling you guys about it 😉

If you want to read the report you will need to sign up to the Hive and look out for it this week …

9 thoughts on “Keeping Momentum and Knowing When to Stop Using Artificial Deadlines

  1. Yes Chris, you really hit the nail squarely. Deadlines are critical, or else you can ‘fritter away’ a whole month with ease! And if no one or no event is imposing one, then you must self-inflict the discipline…

  2. I’d say you understated the importance of working with other people. If you work with, or work for, or even just tell yourself that you work for your visitors it’ll suddenly feel a lot more important to get things done on time. Works wonders for me

  3. I think it’s a fine line. Ideally, the deadlines we set for ourselves would be enough but artificially creating outside pressure definitely helps me. The question that leaves me with, however, is this:

    Isn’t living up to the promises we make to others also living up to a promise we’ve made to ourselves (ie; to be reliable). If so, why is that intermediate step required? Forgive me for philosophical, but does this mean we short-change ourselves when it comes to whose needs are being met?

  4. The ironic thing is I went to work for myself to get away from this kind of thing, now I am arranging my own deadlines! 😉

  5. If you’re a work at home pro blogger, unless you have tremendous discipline, deadlines will help. I make this mistake regularly – not giving myself deadlines.

  6. For those starting to work at home this issue of deadlines and getting things done can be a real problem. Going from having people on top of you all day making sure things are done to total free reign is a shock to the system. Will power and commitment really come into play.

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