One aspect of achieving the goals that you set for yourself is the ability to set up deadlines effectively. Some people are better at being realistic about setting deadlines than others, but fortunately, you can practice and learn how to set up deadlines correctly so that they’re realistic and effective.
Here are 7 tips to help you set deadlines you can live with…
Tip #1 – Break your goals into steps
When you are setting deadlines for anything, it helps to break it down. For example, there is a lot more to anything you want to accomplish than the result or deliverable. Whether it’s creating a planner, losing 50 pounds, organizing your home, finishing a book, or writing a novel, there are always a number of steps between deciding to start and getting to the end result.
Tip #2 – List the steps for each bigger step
Each component also has its own steps that need to be spelled out. By spelling everything out and making it into small steps, tasks, or actions that you need to take to get to the result, it’s easier to figure out an appropriate timeline.
Tip #3 – Put your steps in order on a timeline
Once you’ve determined all the steps that it takes to complete any one component and all the components together to meet your goal, make them into chronological steps that you put into your task list. This task list will eventually go into your calendar.
Tip #4 – Figure out how long each step will take
As you break down each component into steps to finish the goal, also write down how long you think it’s going to take to do each thing. Some things may take two minutes, and others may take longer. Being able to determine how long tasks take is a crucial part of setting deadlines effectively.
Tip #5 – Assign the tasks you’re outsourcing
As you look at your itemized list, you’ll notice things that you can outsource to your VA or someone else. Write down who you want to do it and talk to them about their timeline to find out when it can realistically be finished based on your needs.
Tip #6 – Set priorities and brainstorm delays
Always brainstorm anything that might get in the way of your deadlines. I mentioned in a previous article to always build contingency time into your deadlines because you know there will be delays, especially when dealing with tech. So, if you think a task is going to take 1 hour, allow 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can adjust down later if you overestimate, but it can throw off your entire timeline if you underestimate.
Tip #7 – Add it to your calendar
Now that you have it in order, you can realistically set your deadlines and put everything, including each set up for each component into the calendar and task lists, so you know just by opening your calendar each day what you need to do where and when.
Setting deadlines effectively is one of the best ways you can ensure that you’re using your time wisely. You don’t want deadlines to be too long away, so you’ll want to break each deliverable down into smaller components with their own deadlines to ensure that you get done. Then schedule everything, and stick to the schedule!
*Note: This post includes affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission should you make a purchase.