Are Deadlines Deadly?
You may think deadlines are deadly. You may feel like dying after missing so many. Or any. That feeling may inspire fear whenever you set (or decide not to set) a new deadline.
What if I miss it? What if I fail…again?
Guess what? It’s time to kill that fear. In the next three minutes, you and I are going to eliminate it once and for all.
Why? Because deadlines are the lifeblood of accomplishment. Nothing great was ever accomplished without a deadline. Greatness does not happen on accident. To create the future you want for yourself, your team or company — you must first master the present.
The three mistakes that will hold you back:
- Maintaining a to-do list in your mind
Trying to simply remember all you have to do doesn’t make any sense and does not work. But wait, you might be thinking, I make mental notes all the time instead of writing things down. If that’s true then you are not doing enough things that matter. When you don’t write down deadlines you allow yourself to become preoccupied with other things. You sit back and let life simply happen to you.
2. Involving committees
Committees do not meet at 2 AM. Never wait for permission to start. You don’t need an opinion right away; you need action!
This does not mean you need to go at it alone. In fact, you should always get input and utilize others’ expertise when needed on every big project you do. But if you’ve given yourself a deadline to complete a business proposal, don’t miss it because you’re still waiting to get a friend’s opinion on the concept.
The key is to make decisions and move forward. Even if the decision is wrong! Never forget that you have the ability to make a decision and THEN make it right.
3. Telling yourself the wrong message
The process of overcoming procrastination is so simple that it is overlooked by most. Most will reject it once they hear the absolute solution. Why is that? They don’t want to own responsibility. Most find it easier to NOT take responsibility and blame something or someone else.
Not taking responsibility and leaving a legacy are like oil and water. They do not mix.
The absolute solution to inactivity is talking to yourself. What you say to you matters. A lot. It’s the only way to escape that little voice in your head that says you can’t do it, that you’ll fail, that you should be afraid.
- Go full out and try this. Just for three days. Say it with me, “Do it now!”
- Say that 30 times right now.
- Say it 30 times in a row at least three separate times today; morning, noon, night.
Do the same tomorrow and the next day. If you are sincere about moving forward in a massive way and truly accomplishing things that last 200 years from now, you must master this. And it is sooooo simple that anyone (YOU) can do it.
The most critical deadline in your life at any one time is the one you give yourself. Deadlines must be set daily. Faced daily. And met. Report back to me in three days and let me know of the incredible progress you are making and the breakthroughs you have experienced. This is about YOUR life. Your projects. What you do. Who you become, the impact you have — forever.
Cato T. Radley
Originally published at clickup.com on August 28, 2018.