With patience and practice, you can develop the habit of setting deadlines and following them through to completion. Here are things to note to put in place to successfully set deadlines and stick to them:
Research your Options
Deadlines should be a product of research and not wishful thinking. Ensure you’ve properly considered the time and effort it will take to achieve your goal before stipulating a deadline. If you have a presentation in your office or a target, do your research first to know when you’ll be ready before giving or agreeing to a deadline. If you fail to do proper research, you may find the project more taxing than you envisaged and it will either affect the quality of your work if you still work within the given deadline, or you’ll fail to meet the deadline which will affect your professional image.
Write it down
If you work with a lot of deadlines, it can be easy to forget. Write down your deadlines on a calendar or input it on your smartphone. Ensure you can see it on a daily basis. Working with your deadline in mind will help you to prioritize your schedule appropriately.
Make it Realistic
Avoid setting deadlines when you have adrenaline rush. Motivation is great, but if it drives you to set unrealistic deadlines, you’re only stress yourself out. If you have enough time to complete a task, don’t rush to finish it. Rushing doesn’t help us to successfully accomplish any task.
Break down your deadlines
If you’re deadline is three years down the road, you might not really find the motivation to work consistently on meeting that deadline. For example, let’s say you want a degree in a few years. Break that deadline down into semesters. When you break down your deadlines into smaller chunks, you will feel more motivated to work toward those consistently.