As a freelancer, my schedule thrives on deadlines. In fact, many of my friends who freelance joke about just living by deadlines whereas normal people live by the days of the week. From the outside looking in, it can seem tough to always be racing the clock to turn something in on-time.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned to embrace working under deadlines and use it to gain structure in other areas of my business and life. Being deadline orientated can actually be a good thing and here are 4 key benefits of working under deadlines that you should consider.
Working under deadlines is great for accountability. Having a deadline means that you need to turn something in at a particular time. If that time comes and goes, someone may be there to hold you accountable or you can be your own accountability partner.
I’m not sure about you but I don’t like the idea of other people waiting for me to turn something in. Feeling the pressure of accountability can help you honor your commitment to get things done and out the way.
Get the Momentum Going
Setting deadlines is also a great way to get yourself to stop procrastinating. People who are used to working under deadlines know that there’s a set time to finish up the task.
As that time approaches, you may feel more motivated to get the task done. When I have client assignments that are due the following day, I feel this extra kick to just get it done. For other big projects, setting a deadline can help you stay on track and continue to take action.
Whether you’re working on a big launch or a client project, it’s important to know that you have a set deadline in place ad slacking is not an option. Plus, it can feel like a major victory when you meet your deadlines and can put some tasks behind you.
Waste Less Time
Time is a limited resource that shouldn’t be wasted. If you want to waste less time in your day, the key is to prepare in advance. Working under deadlines can help you schedule your time and tasks more efficiently.
You may not realize this but when you have no clear schedule or plan you tend to waste way more time. The time you spend getting distracted, wondering what to do next or even playing catch up can be much better spent actually doing planned work.
When you prioritize your schedule by knowing what’s next and how much time you have to do certain things, you’ll end up being way more productive.
Meet More Goals
To continue working under deadlines, you must be successful at meeting those deadlines. If you don’t meet the majority of your deadlines, people won’t take you seriously and you may even stop taking yourself seriously. On the flip side however, meeting your deadlines means that you’re meeting your goals whether large or small.
Crossing completed tasks off your list means you’re getting closer to accomplishing your goals.
How to Utilize the Benefits of Working Under Deadlines in Your Business
Most business owners set deadlines in some shape or form whether they’re assigning a team member a task, updating the company website or trying to push out a new product or service by a certain date. Here are some key ways to utilize setting deadlines in your business the right way.
Start with a Goal
All deadlines have a core goal behind them. Set up a day and time to go over goals for your business and what you want the next few weeks and months to look like. Based on your plans, you can determine what needs to get done and when which will set the tone for specific deadlines.
Create a Buffer
When setting and meeting deadlines, try not to make everything due around the same time. This will just create chaos and confusion. Instead, stagger your deadlines throughout the month so you and your team have enough time to prioritize and focus on one thing at a time.
Reasonable deadlines are the best deadlines. Don’t set or agree to unreasonable terms that are unrealistic. This will just set you up for failure or disappointment. I learned this when I promised a client that I would take care of something over the weekend.
I had good intentions but my weekend became so busy and hectic that I didn’t get around to it which caused my client to lose a little faith in me. I’ve now learned my lesson and don’t set deadlines on weekends. I also allow plenty of time for me to complete the task.
Once a deadline is set, be proactive and start taking action right away. Just because something is due in 2 weeks doesn’t mean you should put it off until the last minute. Start early by seeing if there’s someone you can email or something you can research to start the process right away.
This will ensure that you can meet the deadline and be able to move on to the next task.
Working under deadlines can be the perfect way to add structure to your business and meet your goals. Try to be realistic and about the due dates you set and agree to. Make sure they are based on real goals that you have in your business and space things out to avoid a massive buildup.
How do you set deadlines in your business?