As I mentioned in an earlier post, The Importance of Hitting Deadlines, when I was working as a personal assistant I was a stickler for meeting my deadlines.
Unfortunately it was often a different story when it came to my personal deadlines. I discovered that I took my work deadlines a lot more seriously than I did my personal ones.
Which got me thinking – why wasn’t I being as disciplined in both areas?
Have you experienced this as well? If so, here are some of my thoughts on the topic. I would love to hear your ideas and feedback in the comments section after the post.
We don’t set a deadline in the first place
Because it is personal, we might not even set a deadline!
We might think that being a personal we don’t need one. We might not set a deadline because we don’t want the added pressure of delivering on time or we figure we get enough deadlines at work so why set them in our personal lives as well. We might believe we don’t work well with deadlines, so why bother setting them?
Whatever your reason or justification is, it’s time to get real. You need a deadline for your project.
If it’s a big project over an extended period of time, you will most likely need to set milestones to hit at particular times along the way as well as your deadline to finish.
Personal or professional it doesn’t matter, you need a deadline so you know exactly what you need to get done in a set amount of time.
We are not taking ourselves seriously
We have a goal and a deadline but we don’t quite take them seriously.
We figure it doesn’t matter if we miss the deadline a little (or a lot) as long as we get there in the end.
While it is great that we get there in the end, how we get there and how we feel about ourselves when we get there is important as well.
It’s not just the deadline we might not take seriously. We might not take our task or goal seriously either. When it comes to our big goals, it definitely helps if it’s something that we dearly want to see happen. A wishy-washy goal that we don’t really care about isn’t going to supply us with the drive and discipline to keep going and see it through to completion.
Set a solid goal with a serious deadline.
We are not valuing ourselves enough
Sometimes deep down we don’t value ourselves enough. We think we don’t deserve success or happiness.
We might think that we are not good enough to achieve our big goal. We might not believe we deserve to finish, let alone finish on time!
We might think success came to easily to us in the past so we don’t deserve to hit the jackpot this time around!
To be blunt this is all total crap. It’s fear talking. It’s fear running the show and messing things up for you. The way to kick fear’s butt is to work through it. Power through it. Tell it to shut up, sit in the corner and let you get on with things!
Be firm with fear (always remember you are the one in control) but don’t get too nasty with it – it’s a part of you after all and we should always be kind (but firm) in the way we talk to ourselves.
Related post – Know Your Own Worth
We are overlooking the importance of our task or goal
With everything going on in our lives, we might just overlook the importance of our task or goal because there is just so much else we have to do.
Here’s the kicker though. There is always going to be lots to do. There is always going to be challenges to deal with and stuff we have to handle, so best to get real about the importance of our task from the get go.
Hitting your deadline and achieving your goal will have a much bigger impact than you can imagine. Finishing a big project will boost our confidence, make you feel great about yourself and scare fear the hell away (or at least make it feel less intense the next time). You will feel energized, motivated and ready to power on to your next project. All of these good vibes affect your life in a variety of amazing ways.
Your stuff is important.
Heads up, I’m not suggesting that you need to soldier on through every challenge. You are not a machine. Some challenges mean that we need to slow down or take some time out, so if time out and rest is required, than do it.
Related post – How to Stop Putting Off Your Important Task
We think we have plenty of time
I’ll do that later. I’ll do that next week. Next month or next year. We procrastinate. We put things off because we think we have plenty of time.
There is no other way to say this – we don’t always have plenty of time. Stop putting things off and get in and do what you can now.
Related post – Do You Have Something Important to Say?
We get used to letting ourselves down
Unfortunately we get used to letting ourselves down. We effectively let ourselves off the hook, because well we know we can.
Letting ourselves down or lying to ourselves comes at a price. A huge one in fact. It sets a bad precedent, lets us get away with devaluing ourselves and leads to frustration and disappointment.
Constantly letting yourself down may affect your sense of self-worth over time.
Dig deep, gather up your self-discipline and understand with your whole being that you are worth the effort and you deserve to triumph.
Related post – Stop Letting Yourself Off the Hook
We are used to putting other people first
Without a doubt there are times when we need to put other people first, but that doesn’t mean that we get to neglect ourselves.
Your goals and dreams are important. For starters you are the ONLY one who can make them happen. This isn’t something you can delegate to someone else. Be kind, loving and compassionate to other people but put yourself first.
Related post – Don’t Let Anyone Else Define Your Worth
We set unrealistic deadlines to begin with
Often the reason we might not hit our own personal deadlines is that we set unrealistic deadlines right from the start.
We set a deadline that sets us up for failure. When we miss the deadline, we panic and set another one, sometimes just as unrealistic as the first. I did this exact thing myself recently!
So how do we set a realistic deadline? While this is without doubt a whole separate post (or even a series of them), there are some good places to start.
Factor in extra time. You might get sick, run down or simply need some time out to recharge, particularly if your deadline has a long lead time.
If your deadline involves a financial element, be prepared for the possibility of extra costs. Factor in some extra money. Often things cost more than we originally budgeted for, particularly if we are trying something new and we don’t know everything that’s required going in. You will most likely discover that you need things as you go along and that might involve extra expenses.
Related post – What to Do When You Miss a Deadline
We aren’t reporting to anyone
Often because we aren’t reporting to anyone we fail to meet our personal deadlines.
Sometimes if we don’t have a boss, manager or supervisor checking up on us, pushing us or asking us when something is going to be ready or finished, we let it slide.
The thing to remember here is that you are reporting to someone! You are reporting to yourself.
When it comes to our personal deadlines we need to be as diligent, if not more so about hitting our deadlines.
The promises we make to ourselves can be the most powerful promises of all.
Five years from now you probably won’t remember a commitment you made at work but you will remember a promise that you made to yourself that hasn’t come to fruition yet.
What are your thoughts? Are you as disciplined with your personal deadlines as you are with your work ones?
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