Deadlines are artificial and they rarely lead to the consequences they threaten to cause. I make this bold statement as we all seem distracted by irrelevant commitments that don’t move the needle of our success. What I mean by ignoring deadlines, is to stay focused on what counts, and don’t let the self-imposed deadlines distract you from what is essential to get a bit further on reaching our daily goals. There are essential deliverables which are those one that we should focus on and which push us further on our personal and financial growth, and then everything else which we should ignore. As I argue in my social media channels, silence is a powerful tool to master decision making and to maximize focus and thus to set only winning deadlines. Staying silent and being less reactive to all the inputs we receive, will allow you to remove enormous amounts of irrelevant information that is distracting. Other people’s deadlines, and emergencies are often just a distraction. Learn to filter those.
To be able to focus on the “transformative” deliverables you need to become selective and use NO more systematically when you get offered to start a new project, get invited to a new meeting, or to a networking event. The more selective you become, and the more you focus on the action that really matters, the better you become at measuring your daily progress and constraints. Put on the “shutters” kill all the noise around you as this will enable you to set “winning deadlines” for yourself and for your team.
Use your instinct to determine what deadlines are real
Instead of adding deadlines on all tasks that get in your way, I am a big fan of using my instincts to create only deadlines where we can tangibly see financial, or happiness returns immediate returns. In other words, if an action does not make you richer and happier, let go of it. For instance, I prioritize deadlines where other team members or people in my community are depending on my delivery date. Before even deciding on a deadline or on a delivery date, I try to anticipate the chain-reaction and the incremental positive momentum that a specific action will take. If my assessment indicates positive returns on an action, I generate a deadline and put in all the work I need to set actions into motion to maximize the expected returns.
Set and meet deadlines that are critical for others to deliver on their commitment only when it helps you accomplish your long-term goals both financially and emotionally.