Any task that you take on needs a deadline and so do the tasks that you need to accomplish to reach your goal. Deadlines allow you to concentrate on the job at hand and not let time just drift by. If you don’t set timelines you are likely to realize that many weeks have passed by and you don’t really have any work to show for them.
However, there are certain guidelines that you need to follow while setting deadlines. It requires a fair amount of balancing between being too easy and too difficult to meet. They need to be realistic. Even as you may wish for all your tasks to be finished by the next morning, you know that it is not possible or feasible to set such a deadline. If you are too anxious and pumped up to reach your goal, you are likely to set deadlines that are too close for tasks that may genuinely need time. The end result of these deadlines tends to be frustration at not having completed the task on time and leads to de-motivation and de-moralization.
On the other hand, setting a deadline that is too easy and double of the time frame that you think is required will only take you into inertia. Such tasks will fill up time and shall be completed just before the deadline date even when they could have been completed much earlier with a little more effort on your part. The worst part is that finally when you do complete the task, the sense of achievement is not high since you know that you could have completed it in half the time.
Realistic and good timelines are based on knowledge, resources, money and the smaller steps that are linked to achieving the goal. There is also no need to get overly contemplative about the date. Just put a date down while trying to be realistic. You can always extend it or complete the task before the deadline if you realize on the way that you will need more time or money or if the task is an easy one after all and can be completed earlier.
Once you have put the date down, don’t start to change it almost immediately because you suddenly start having self doubts and cook up excuses for the impossibility of the task. A date decided stays till you review the project later and decide to modify it. Let not self-doubting thoughts come in your mind and cloud your judgment.
But defining the deadline in the first place is critical since it decides the speed with which you will finally reach your goal!
Vishal P. Rao share his insights and tips on holistic living at Relishing Life.