"I don't need time. What I need is a deadline.”
- Duke Ellington
Thanks, Duke. When I saw this quote in Tim Ferriss’ newsletter recently, I silently screamed, “AMEN!” In fact, just minutes ago I emailed someone involved in a personal project of mine asking him for a deadline in response to his repeated requests for me to do something simple, but time consuming.
Just today I worked with a client to organize an outline and plan of action for her upcoming online course. She has already scheduled her videographer to come in a couple of weeks to start filming the modules. Come hell or high water, she’s got to have her act together by that date. What she needed wasn’t more time, but a deadline.
Confession: I too have been planning my own online course for years now. I don’t need more time. I need a deadline.
This year I worked with a client who was geographically separated from his wife due to their changing work situations. When he called me, he had an unknown, but limited amount of time to clear out and sell the home where they had raised their children for over 20 years. In hindsight, he had 13 months to go from a 3 story single family home to a 1 bedroom temporary rental. He did it (and the vast majority was cleared in the final weeks).
What if you were told you had until X date to finish that organizing project before the trucks came in an hauled it all away? What if that date is a week from today? What if it is 2 months from today? Could you do it? Yes, you could. I’ve seen people pull off the impossible when faced with a deadline.
Do you think self-imposed deadlines can work just as well? Have you pulled off the impossible with a looming deadline? What deadlines are you going to set for organizing projects, and how are you going to enforce them? Please share in the comments!