Whether you’re setting goals for your blog or coming up with projects to do around the house, I always recommend setting deadlines for yourself to make sure you actually get done everything you planned to. Let’s be real though, meeting deadlines can be tricky business, and it’s definitely not always a sure thing that you’ll meet them at all. Next time you’ve got a project coming up, try using these tips to set and meet deadlines every single time!
Make Your Deadlines Realistic
You want to set deadlines that are challenging and are going to push you, but you also want to make sure the deadlines you set are realistic. First of all, this is going to cause you to be less productive because, since you can’t stick to the calendar you’ve set, you’ll have to push back other tasks to finish the one at hand. By setting yourself up for failure, your self-esteem is also likely to take a hit when you fall short of the unrealistic expectations you set for yourself.
Sometimes we set a deadline that’s too short simply because we didn’t know or properly estimate how much time a task would take. Now you can learn from that experience and, in the future, you’ll have a better idea of how long you need for a given task!
Write Down Your Deadlines
This is pretty much Goal Setting 101 right here, but you’re SO much more likely to meet your goals and deadlines when you write them down. Keep them wherever you’re most comfortable doing so, whether it be a planner, in a journal, or on post-it notes on your desk. My one suggestion would be to write and keep them somewhere you know you’ll see them, to act as a regular reminder.
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Break Down Long-Term Goals with Short-Term Deadlines
Some of the goals or projects that you’re setting deadlines for may be way off in the future, like months away, or maybe even more. That’s totally fine, but you’ll want to take a bit of a different approach to meet those deadlines.
If your project is a bigger one that’s taking place over a long period of time, try breaking that project down into a bunch of smaller tasks, and assign short-term deadlines for those. That way you’re still meeting deadlines and crossing off tasks along the way. This will definitely help you stay on track!
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Set Aside Time in Your Day
Setting deadlines is great. But in order to actually meet a deadline, you have to make sure you’re setting aside enough time in your day to actually make it happen! At the beginning of each week, I like to sit down and make a to-do list for every day, make sure to only add a few tasks for each day to make sure I can actually get to all of them.
If you work all week and have a side-hustle, which is my situation as well, I really recommend setting aside one day on the weekend to get your side-hustle projects done. Usually, I write a pretty long to-do list for myself on the weekend and then just plant myself at my computer until it’s finished. It’s not ideal, but when you work full-time, you have to take advantage of the free time you’ve got!
Need a tool to help you break down your big goals into tasks for the week? This weekly planner notepad is the perfect tool for the job!
Revisit Your Deadlines Regularly
I can’t even tell you how many times I have set a deadline for myself, only to completely forget about it until the big day pops up in my calendar days, weeks, or months later. Yeah, it’s safe to say I didn’t meet those deadlines.
Goals and deadlines are definitely not a set it and forget it type of thing, so make sure you’re keeping those deadlines somewhere that you’ll actually check in with them and be reminded of them regularly.
Be Flexible – It’s Okay to Change Deadlines!
Once you set a deadline for yourself, hustle your heart out to meet it. But also acknowledge that sometimes we fall a bit short on our goals, and that’s totally okay. It’s fine to change your deadline! Moving back your deadline is way better than calling it quits and giving up on your goal altogether. It’s also better than physically and mentally torturing yourself with all-nighters and crazy stress in order to meet deadlines. Yes, we all want to meet our deadlines. No, it’s not the end of the world if we have to adjust them a bit.
Look for Balance
Depending on the size of the deadline you’re approaching, it may make sense to temporarily readjust your priorities to give that one task a little more of your attention. When I was writing and launching my eBook, Streamline Your Side-Hustle, I knew the week or so leading up to my launch date was going to be super chaotic, with lots of last-minute adjustments and fixes to sales pages, launch emails, etc.
During that time, I made sure to cut myself some slack on other areas so I could devote more time to the eBook launch. So my house may have been a bit messier that week, but it was worth it to give myself a break and allow myself to shift my focus elsewhere.