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There’s Nothing Better Than A Deadline (Literally Nothing!)

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Anyone who has worked in the business of sales or has been around it would have been beaten over the head with the power of deadlines.

Or if you’ve read a blog post on productivity or goal-setting, you would have seen deadlines as well.

I’ve fallen in love with deadlines and it’s how I stay productive.


Without a deadline you’re useless.

Let me give you an example. If I have a deadline, I produce twice as many blog posts.

Right now I’m seven days away from going to Europe which means everything I’m currently doing has to be finished quick smart.

Last week I had a day where I had nothing booked, no meetings and no phone calls. I put aside the whole day to write. Instead, what ended up happening was I sat there and watched YouTube, binged on Facebook and read a few articles.

In other words, I pissed the entire day up the wall and had nothing to show for it (nice one Timbo).

If you think about people on the brink of retirement, they suffer from the same problem. They think that when they retire, they can finally travel or learn the piano or spend time with their kids.

When these fun-loving folk finally reach retirement, they don’t do half of what they said they would. They waited their entire life to do the things they love and they don’t do it.

Saving up tasks to complete in the future is a complete waste of time. You need a deadline otherwise you’ll never get to your goals/tasks/dreams.


I make up deadlines.

A little hack I use is to make up deadlines.

Every Saturday is my writing day. It’s when I bust my chops to deliver you as many helpful articles I can, for free, with the most beautiful imagery I can find on the internet, that will inspire you and make you take action.

It’s bloody hard work.

To achieve this enormous weekly task that sucks up all my energy, I put a deadline at the end of the day.

I promise my girlfriend dinner at 6 pm every Saturday which means I have to be done by 5 pm. Failure to meet this deadline involves a slow and torturous death by my girlfriend who will never let me hear the end of being late to a romantic dinner date.

This deadline not only gives me a hard stop to be done writing by, but it also gives me something to look forward to. It makes all the pain and sweat of writing worth it. It’s how I celebrate.

If you struggle with deadlines, then try making up your own one.

Purposely place an event in your calendar right after the goal you want to achieve. Make it something you can’t get out of without experiencing a lot of pain (or in my case ‘death by girlfriend’).


The illusion of free time.

The best habit you can cultivate is to focus on ‘the doing’ no matter what day, time or month of the year we’re in.

The moment you need to set aside time is the moment nothing will happenand you’ll find your long lost friend called procrastination.

When you don’t feel like it is the best time to work on your goals”

Whenever we have free time, we think we have all day when we don’t. Digital distractions can rob you of an entire day faster than I can drink a Matcha Latte.

Next time you hear yourself saying “I’ll do it during this block of free time” be suspicious of yourself. See through your own BS.


It’s all in the mind.

The battle of achieving your goals takes place in the mind mostly.

Deadlines are just a way to sort of trick your brain into working with you rather than against you”

We’re wired to be fat, lazy bastards who should be scared of the big, bad world we live in.

Using reframe techniques like deadlines helps our mind think clearly and focus on what we want.

Our million-year-old brain is not there to make us win and so using deadlines is how we can program it to help us win big.


Deadlines are beautiful.

Until you’ve played around with deadlines, you won’t see the beauty in them like I do.

The reason I love deadlines is because they are such a simple hack.

Simplicity is beauty in disguise.

“We’re often led to believe that whatever we dream of in life is incredibly difficult and our chance of success is almost zero. When you discover 2–3 little life hacks like deadlines, you start to see the impossible becoming possible”

I never thought I’d have the time, creativity, stories or knowledge to ever be a blogger. It always sounded really hard.

I then used deadlines, habits, and energy from a clean diet to blog my way to my goals. It’s a beautiful thing when you can see how the world really works through tools like deadlines.


Deadlines work.

You can win at life.

All you need to do is pick a goal and whack a nice deadline activity at the end of it that gives you leverage against yourself to defeat procrastination.

Give deadlines a shot!

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. JN

    Oct 16, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    I find deadlines to be really painful, but this article really reminded me that the result of not having any deadlines is even more painful in the long run. Thank you!

  2. Harsh

    Oct 10, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Goal and Deadlines are extremely important. Nice article! Thanks

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Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

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Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

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