4 Percent – 7 Steps to Success In Life –
Step 4: Make Deadlines & Stick to Them
If there is one common desire that binds the whole of humanity together – it’s the desire to succeed.
We all want to be successful, in whatever big or small way possible. Somewhere out there, a young woman is dreaming of baking the best cookies and cupcakes on Teacher’s Day. Elsewhere, a gentleman in his 40’s is congratulating himself on becoming the youngest Vice President of his company. And somewhere else, a 65-year old woman is sitting proudly on her motorcycle, ready to take a long overdue trip around the country.
For different people, success means different things, but they do agree on one thing – a dream without a plan is just a dream. For it to become a reality, you need a road-map.
AND you need deadlines.
Almost everyone knows the importance of setting goals and creating a roadmap (I’ve already discussed both of them in my previous blogs on the 7 Steps to Success in Life), but few understand how critical deadlines are. Safe to say, without them, you won’t be able to get much done in life.
Why deadlines are so important
- Deadlines help you prioritize: When you have a deadline hanging over your head, you chalk out a workflow. This way, you waste less time doing tasks that might not be so important and end up dedicating energy to things that really matter.
- Deadlines help you plan: Each goal is made up of a series of small tasks. When you create a deadline, you are forced to think about the time needed to accomplish each step. Once you visualize all the steps, you plan your work more efficiently and are able to achieve your goals in a timely manner.
- Deadlines push you: Remember how we’d burn the midnight oil to submit our school report? Or that one time we worked 20 hours straight to complete the office presentation? When you have a deadline with consequences attached to it, you will do whatever it takes to meet it.
I hope now you understand why creating deadlines is the 4th of the 7 steps to success in life? I have found, through personal experience, that whenever I fail to assign a deadline to a task, the chances of getting it done on time go down significantly. On the other hand, when I have specific timelines to meet, I am my most efficient and productive best.
Given how important deadlines are to the overall vision of success, it’s also important to know how to set ones that are realistic in nature. These 5 strategies have always worked for me:
- Break down any task into its bite sized, achievable constituents and allot a timeline to each step. This will help you monitor progress better, while giving you a sense of accomplishment when you get through each small step.
- Don’t think of best-case scenarios. Always factor in any challenges or roadblocks you might face, along with their contingency plan. The best-laid plans can go waste, but if you’re prepared for any eventuality, you won’t get knocked off your feet.
- Always leave some wiggle room. Like I just said, the best-laid plans can come to nothing because life has a way of throwing a spanner into the works. For this reason, always leave some scope for adjustment in your plans.
- A deadline is only as effective as the consequences associated with it. So, make sure you have the right incentive waiting for you when you complete a task on time. At the same time, you should also punish yourself if you’re not able to stick to the timeline. After all, where there’s a carrot, there has to be a stick as well.
- Be realistic in your estimate of time and don’t make promises you can’t keep. It’s better to stretch the deadline a bit and make them achievable, rather than have an unreasonably tight schedule that you won’t be able to meet.
At the end of the day, deadlines are meant to get the job done. And if you’re able to stick to them, you’re already close to achieving your goals. That’s why I tell anybody I meet that knowing how to set deadlines and training yourself to following them is an essential life skill. And that’s why I have included it among the 7 steps to success in life. That’s how seriously I take deadlines.
Before I sign off, I will leave you with another small advice. Spare a few minutes and check out Vick Strizheus’s 7 Steps to Results guide. I found it extremely inspiring and I believe you too could apply its principles and attract success and prosperity in your life. Already, hundreds and thousands of people all over the world have benefited from it. Most of them have already put the principles outlined in this guide to use and are minting money every day.
So make sure you check out the 7 Steps to Results guide right away. It won’t take more than 15 minutes, and in that time you’d already be on your way to creating a successful life for yourself.
The best part? It’s 100% free! You don’t have to pay a dime for all this valuable advice.
Why hold back now? Take a look at this highly acclaimed 7 Steps to Results guide and write your own success story in no time at all.