I’m wondering what happens to you when you hear the word “deadline”? If you’re like most people I know, the mere mention of these two syllables will get the heart pumping just a little bit faster than optimal.
Not me. I’m a deadline nerd, although maybe not for the reasons you think (who knows what those are, but if they are flattering in any way, you’re probably wrong!). Mostly, I love deadlines because they reduce my stress levels.
Yes. Deadlines reduce my stress levels.
If I have a deadline, I am able to prioritise.
If I am able to prioritise, I’m able to plan my week.
If I am able to plan my week, I reduce my stress levels.
My career to date has been a pretty even split of being employed by other people, and working for myself (about a decade of each!). While the latter is by far my favourite overall, when it comes to deadlines, self employment is definitely the harder environment when it comes to deadline wrangling. (Let’s talk about that next week.)
Why the self employed should learn to love deadlines.
When you work for yourself in any capacity – a writer, a solo business operator, an entrepreneur – you want deadlines. You need deadlines. Here’s why:
1. If you meet a deadline, it means stuff is getting done.
2. If stuff is getting done you’re one step closer to your raison d’être. Yes? (As a bonus, if stuff is getting done you might even be, gasp, about to get paid!)
3. Getting closer to what motivates you ultimately leads to a happier, more satisfying life.
See? Proof: deadlines make you happier. Okay. There may be a few holes in the logic, but hopefully you get the drift. Deadlines help you. You need them. Trust me: deadlines are your friend, even though at the time you might want to hide under your table and ignore them. Hang on, what? You’re onboard with my logic but you were thinking something else?
You’re saying. “Hmm, okay Sue. Maybe I trust you. But hang on. What if there are no deadlines?”
The answer to that is the subject of another post – coming next Friday 🙂
For the comments section below: Do you like or loathe deadlines? How do you handle them?