3 ways to think differently about deadlines


Deadlines are bothersome little things, aren’t they? Always breathing down your neck or whooshing past your ears. It’s no wonder we live in fear of them.But what if there were ways to reach your due dates with less last-minute stress? Here are three tips to try.


1. Double up on your goals

Set two deadlines: 

  • The first, a slightly more aggressive soft goal, to kick-start the creative juices and fire everyone up. 
  • The second, hard deadline, should cushion you against unforeseen problems. 

The trick is to think of the soft deadline as the cut-off point. People produce their best work when crunched for time. So if you need to, make one goal public and keep the other date to yourself.


2. Break big scary deadlines into tiny rewarding milestones

Deliver 80,000 words in four weeks? Ha, ha, HA! How about 20,000 words a week instead? 
Slicing big goals into smaller wins keeps everyone on track for the final deadline. And prevents those over-caffeinated, 11th-hour scrambles at the back end of a project.


3. Incentivize yourself with small rewards

Instead of cursing each deadline, how about rewarding yourself as you tick each one off?
As you power your way through, tie each waypoint to a pleasurable experience. Doesn’t have to be big or lavish. A walk in the park with a podcast, or a coffee could be all you need.


Try these strategies to adjust how you think about deadlines, so you can tackle even those boring, messy or ambiguous projects and get more done.




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