Deadlines

It's

Deadlines not made public are little more than arbitrary milestones.

Countdown to 8/1/21

When Debi hits her 5 year anniversary! She will be coming to work with me on PubWriter part-time. My business needs to be generating enough profit to support both of us by Aug of 2021.

Countdown to 1/5/23

3 years from today, our friends (and us) committed to be retired. Dead or alive, we're gonna make it! That day is: January 5, 2023


My first exposure to deadlines was in grade school. A passing grade required meeting deadlines of the assignment. Whenever I missed a due date, I was penalized with a lower grade. Lower grades meant less freedom and increased parental involvement.

Looking back now, I realize it's the deadlines we set between cradle and grave that give goals (and our life) a greater sense of urgency and accomplishment.

I also see that every major milestone was preceded by a smaller, seemly insignificant deadlines that took me in the direction of something more significant.

A commitment without a deadline is little more than a good intention. Unfinished, it becomes a weight and burden. My list of unfinished projects continues to grow.

Often the only reason I meditate daily is because it's on my calendar. I often plan my workday around pre-scheduled yoga classes. My writing only gets done because of a deadline to submit it! I could continue working on a post for weeks.

Deadlines remove my ability to procrastinate. Deadlines strengthen our resolve to meet commitments. Knowing when something is due can actually relieve pressure.

The age old question - if you could know when you were going to die, would you want to know? I'd answer YES - because then I'd know how much time to work with.

When a writer accepts an assignment, there's usually a deadline that must be met. Missing the deadline results in a financing penalty. It's a pretty strong motivator.

A sense of urgency

Those diagnosed with a terminal illness may suddenly have the motivation to finish important project and find closure on 'unfinished business.'

All the sudden what's truly important bubbles to the surface. There's no time for trivial matters. We say what must be said. There's no time to fret about what happened or what might happen, all the matters is right now.

A commitment to most anything meaningful comes with a risk of failing. The risk of missing a deadline becomes real.

Deadlines can turn a hobby we enjoy into a job we don’t. I'd argue that a business without deadlines is just a hobby.

A deadline raises the stakes. We face unpleasant feelings like guilt, shame, and embarrassment when we miss a deadline. The most effective deadlines are often those imposed by programs with the ability to enforce consequences.

For years, my default was to put things off until they were due. The most important deadline is the one I set the day before it is due.

Why do I fear deadlines?

A deadline defines the timeline we are obligated to meet.

I've learned to turn deadlines from foe to friend. They motivate me and give me reason to act.

The need for preparation.

It's once commit myself to an event that I finally get other things out of my way in order to be ready for it. People get focused When there's a clearly defined outcome with a real deadline. There's no time for drama. The critical path requires everyone steps up and does their job to meet the goal.

Goals without deadlines are only intentions.

Give yourself 5 days to finish something, you'll either finish it or fail trying. You're only defeated when you give up.

My wife knows there a reason I have to go ride when it's tied to training for an event. The organized ride (a century bike ride) usually sells out, it requires $75 entry fee - so with that, I have skin in the game. It forces me to ride, keeps me on the radar of my fellow riders (who reach out to me to plan a ride). Without that deadline, it's too easy to justify spending my time elsewhere.

Assigning a deadline is the first step toward completing a task.

A new framework for email (expiring email) Every email has an expiration date. It expires 48 hours after it arrives in your inbox. When it expires, it gets deleted forever. The sender is notified that the email was never read and given the option to resend. Within 48 hours, you must decide on one of four actions: delete, forward, reply, or archive. Emails you move to your archive expire in 30 days. Again, the sender is notified once their email is deleted. Being realistic, if you aren't able to take action within 30 days, will you truly ever? The idea of getting to it someday/maybe is an illusion. By the time you get to your archive folder, you've received already hundreds of more emails.

If you are anything like me, your inbox may have hundreds of unread emails. What if you started assigning an expiration date to each email?

Guess what? The deadline I set for this writing just occurred. I hope you enjoyed it. Now get busy working on your own deadlines before YOU are deadlined.