creating hard deadlines blog header

As a creative soulpreneur, it seems to me that hard deadlines often become a movable object, rather than the hard stop they are meant to be. When you work for yourself, it’s so easy to just move the goal post if you feel like you can’t quite get there the time you gave yourself at the beginning of a project. Or, you may have skipped setting any sort of deadline at all. And that’s a problem if your business relies on you getting things done (and what business doesn’t) and meeting committments to your customers and clients.

Hard deadlines are an essential part of any successful plan because they:

 • make sure you get the right things done in the right order to accomplish your goals

• create consistency, organization, and smooth workflows

• give you clarity around expectations and responsibilities

• allow for maximum success and productivity.

In other words, when you set clear, hard deadlines and stick to them, you allow for a better use of your time, as well as the ability to focus on your goals and achieve your best life. Once you realize that you don’t have to run to beat the clock, you can also better manage your energy and improve your productivity.

Here are two ways to think about hard deadlines and how to create them:

1. Your deadlines should be realistic

The one thing you don’t want your deadlines to do is produce more stress and overwhelm. To ensure that doesn’t happen you need to set realistic deadlines.

The trick to making sure you set realistic deadlines hinges on two things:

  • Accounting for the unexpected
  • Being honest about how long it takes you to do things

Take it from me – nothing ever goes totally according to plan, and no matter how badly you wish for it, you are not going to become a speed demon overnight.

2. Your deadlines need to mean something to you

You can tell yourself that a hard deadline is part of the job, but… if you’re like me and you tend to resent schedules and deadlines and calendars that beep in the night, this line of thinking is only going to make you resent them more.

If you make your deadlines more personal, then chances are you’re going to work harder to meet them. For me a good one is “I can’t go golfing until I get this done.”

Motivation is such a personal thing, so that even if the deadline justifier isn’t business-related, it still works to help you get your projects completed on time.

Final Thoughts

Above all, the goal when setting hard deadlines – aside from getting your projects completed on time – should be to make them work for you and not against you. Getting projects completed on time is a huge piece of the success puzzle. You know you want to meet your goals, so setting deadlines that work for you is pretty much a necessity. I hope these tips help you stress less about the deadlines and allow you the freedom to get things done.

About the Author

Ruth is self-styled creative soulpreneur who loves that she gets to play with words and pictures for a living. She started her first email newsletter in 1997 and has never looked back. Between creating printables and courses, she publishes a daily newsletter, loves to golf and walk on the beach and is teaching herself how to do hand-lettering and doodle art.

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