Set a Deadline

DESIGN A TIMELINE 

A timeline is a graphical representation of events and tasks.   It shows the time that these events will occur.    Generally a timeline will be in chronological order.   When you are designing a timeline  you will have to know:

          • What tasks need to be done
          • By when

To the right you will see an example of what a timeline might look like.    This might be the perfect opportunity to have a play.   To find an image online or produce your own that specifically suits your needs.    

There are lots of different possibilities in terms what format a timeline can take.    You have to decide which one best suits your needs.    A deadline is a time by when a task need to be completed.    According to pickthebrain.com a deadline is a budget of your time, usually in chronological order.     

WHY ARE DEADLINES IMPORTANT?

Now we know what a timeline and deadline are.    Timelines and deadlines should be used in tandem to support us to achieve our goals.   Deadlines can help you stay productive by:

          • Focusing your attention  You may sometimes find that tasks seem to just get bigger and bigger and take longer if you have no finish date.   A deadline draws a line in the sand.  It is easier to focus on what is important if you know you have a limited amount of time.
          • Keeping you motivated   Have you ever noticed that when things are hard, boring or you are scared you can always find an excuse not to do it.   Staying motivated and aware of deadlines will make sure that you are consistently working towards getting things done.  You will be driven to get things done.   
          • Helping you prioritise  Having time constraints forces you to make a call about what is most important.   You will have an opportunity to work out really matters.   When this happens you can work out what needs to happen and in what order. 

Scott H Young in lifehack.org provides 22 tips for effective deadline setting.   I found some of particular interest in terms of clarifying my understanding about the importance of setting deadlines.   They are itemised below:

  1. Parkinson’s Law: This law says that a task expands to fill the time given to them.   The more time you have the more time they will take.   Deadlines force you to focus.
  2. Timebox: Tasks should take between 60 – 90 minutes per task.
  3. 80 / 20 Rule: 80% of the value is produced in 20% of the input.
  4. Break it down:  If things are not going to plan it may help to break timelines into smaller more manageable units.
  5. Continuous planning: Update your plans to fit your deadlines.   Cut, add, define your plans as you go.
  6. Reminders:  Post reminders everywhere
  7. Write them down:   Write the timelines down.   They make your outcomes more tangible.   
  8. Be patient:   When you are patient and calmer.    The calmer you are the more you can focus.   The more you can focus the quicker you will reach your goals.   

I am really certain now that setting deadlines is important.    I am hoping that the information outlined here will help you as much as it helped me.   

Your challenge in terms of this process is to look at what you want to do.   To put in place some deadlines of your own.    To draw your line in the sand.   Now,  do not forget to put this work down in your journal.    Keep a record of your work.   It might benefit you to review your progress regularly.   Then you can tell if you are heading in the right direction. 

Your challenge in terms of this process is to look at what you want to do.   To put in place some deadlines of your own.    To draw your line in the sand.   Now,  do not forget to put this work down in your journal.    Keep a record of your work.   It might benefit you to review your progress regularly.   Then you can tell if you are heading in the right direction.