How to Set Deadlines For Yourself That You Will Stick To

set deadlines for yourself
set deadlines for yourself
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It’s been said that time is money. At least that’s what we’re told to believe.

While this statement may be true to some extent, there is also part of this statement that isn’t so true. It truthfully depends on the person.

Time can be money, but if you don’t choose to utilize your time wisely, then I assure you that time is not going to bring you money. If you sit around and wait for things to be given to you, well, then you are going to be waiting for a very long time. 

Time is money only if you are productive with your time. You can achieve anything that you want to achieve, but you need to be willing to work for it. If you aren’t willing to work for the things that you want, then you aren’t ever going to achieve your goals. 

There are times in my life when I go through different stages of being productive and being lazy. I wish I could say that I am productive with all of my time, but this wouldn’t be true for anybody. 

As I was struggling to focus on any given task last week, I kept asking myself ‘What can I do to be more productive? What’s one thing that has always helped to keep me on task?’ 

In reflecting on my life, I recalled the one thing that always helped me to complete tasks on time, and that was to have a due date. 

But how can you ensure that a due date will help to solve your procrastination struggles? When it comes to setting due dates for yourself, here ere are 3 ways to set deadlines for yourself that you will actually stick to.

1. Make them personal

You can sit here and tell yourself that you want to accomplish [task] by [date], but if you don’t actually care about the task that you are setting a due date for, then are you really going to be motivated to accomplish that task when the going gets tough?

Whatever you are trying to accomplish, make sure that you actually care about it. If you set deadlines for yourself when you really don’t care about the outcome, do you think that you are actually going to stay motivated to work towards it when the going gets tough? 

Probably not. 

set deadlines for yourself

2. Keep in line with your goals

You have a goal in life, right? Maybe your goal is to become the President of the United States of America. Maybe your goal is to become the next CEO of Apple or Tesla. Maybe your goal is to raise millions of dollars to help end world hunger. Or maybe your goal is to simply be a better person. 

Whatever your goal is, break that goal up into smaller and more attainable goals. From there, give yourself a due date for when you would like to achieve those smaller, yet more attainable goals. Once you achieve one of the smaller but more attainable goals, set another due date for the next goal. 

It’s similar to like writing a paper in college. The final paper would be your end goal, but before you got there, there were many rough drafts and peer reviews that were due along the way. While these weren’t nearly as important as the due date for the paper itself, they helped to keep you focused on the completion of your paper and on improvements along the way. 

Treat life the same way. Have an end goal in mind and know when you want to have that goal completed by. From there, break that goal up into smaller goals, and give those smaller goals due dates of their own. The key is to stay on task as much as possible. 

3. Make urgency a priority

This is where I tend to get in trouble the most. I am a bit of a procrastinator, so if I am not writing down daily tasks for myself to complete and adding a sense of urgency to them, then I am going to push everything off until the very last minute. That’s just how I am. 

If you are like me, add a little bit of urgency to your life. Don’t give yourself a week to do something that you know will only take a few hours to achieve. Challenge yourself and constantly strive to accomplish as much as you can. The more you procrastinate, the longer it’s going to take you to achieve the goals that you set for yourself. 

Final Thoughts

All of those work deadlines, bills that have to get paid, constant reminders on your phone, etc. Take notice of how attentive you are to these things. Rarely, if ever, will you overlook them. So why overlook your goals and dreams? Time is not unlimited! Whatever you want to achieve, put yourself first and do so.

Write down your goals. Write down the tasks that you need to complete in order to achieve these goals. And write down when you want to achieve these goals. By writing them down, you have a 46% higher chance of achieving the things that you want. That’s a probability we all need to be willing to go after.

Life is short, and if you want to make the most of it, then you need to be willing to work as hard as you can and make the most of the time that you have. Setting deadlines for yourself is one of the best ways to do so.

Michael Bonnell

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