Deadline is an unfortunate name for a process which effectively puts a due date on the birth of your project.
I’m sure, had the term lifeline not already been taken, the people who decide what words mean –whoever they might be– would have deemed it far more appropriate.
The negative connotations that come with the word deadline have likely contributed to the dreaded deadline culture we see among students year after year.
And there’s no doubt that those very same students take this mentality with them to their place of work.
But deadlines do more good for us than bad.
In fact, other than causing overwhelm to those who approach deadlines incorrectly, deadlines do a great deal to ensure we stay on track, gauge our progress and become more proactive in the work we undertake— get it? Undertaker… Deadline?
When setting yourself a deadline, consider Parkinson’s Law.
This is the idea that if you give yourself a specific date or time to finish a task, you’ll fill up all the time between now and then before you actually complete it.
If you set yourself a deadline for the end of the day, you’ll finish the task at hand by the end of the day but had you set that very same task for the end of the week, it’ll be a week before you deliver as you’ll have left it closer to the due date to complete it.
This is why I work to a daily schedule.
Sure, I don’t complete every task I set myself in one day but I do carry them over which means I have to be productive if I don’t want my to do list to pile up on me.
Embrace setting yourself daily lifelines and watch your productivity soar.