The best tip I have for meeting deadlines is to keep up your self discipline and work on the project every day. Even if it’s only for an hour. You need to work on it. That’s the best way to meet deadlines, whether someone sets them for you or you set them for yourself.
Deadlines are scary things. They loom there, first in the distance and then poof! there they are. That’s terrifying.
They don’t have to be. Shift your thinking about deadlines to being a target to aim for. Try to see them as goals you can reach. Set further deadlines for yourself. I want to write 9100 words by the end of the week. For me, that’s doable. That’s thirteen hundred words a day.
That said, don’t go too crazy. As I said 9100 words a week is doable for me. Set deadlines you know you can meet. If I push myself, I could write ten thousand words in a week, but I rarely push myself, except during NaNoWriMo. That’s the beauty of doing NaNoWriMo every November. I can push myself knowing I can do it, and then I have a novel to edit. It’s also great practice in meeting deadlines. The goal in November is to reach at least fifty thousand words in thirty days. The deadline is midnight, November 30.
Deadlines are tools. Keep that in mind. They help you to stay on track. They are not meant to put pressure on you. That’s important. Deadlines are there only to give you a spur to do what you need to do to meet them. If you procrastinate, you’ll find yourself in a world of pressure and hurt. The best way to avoid that is to look at the project and see what you need to do. Then break it down. Fifty thousand words in thirty days breaks down to 12500 words a week. Which can be further broken down to 1667 words a day. Then all you need to do is get that every day and you’ve nailed it.
The point is that deadlines aren’t so scary, if you work every day. That’s where my next tip comes in. Be self-disciplined. You get up in the morning and go to work. Your motivtion there is your paycheck, unless you love your job. A deadline can motivate you if you let it. Make time everyday to spend at least an hour working on the project and you will likely meet your deadline.
The deadline is not something that will crush you. At least it shouldn’t be. If you make time to do what you need to every day, you’ll make the deadline. That’s the hardest part. Set yourself a reward system. If I do this then I can do that. Or if I do this then I can go there. What the reward is, is up to you.
The deadline is there to help you. It is not there to put pressure on you. Take the time at the start to set yourself up for success and work every day. You’ll meet your deadline.
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