Deadlines have real power. Once a deadline comes closer and closer, we work harder than usual.
From the moment you got homework in your high school. Every time the deadline is far away, you usually just chill and slightly work on it. But a week or two before the deadline, you go on ‘Bootcamp’ mode and work harder than usual.
This comes in all kinds of forms. For example, when a trip is coming closer and closer you start packing and doing some research about the destination. Or pay your bills on time. Or when a birthday comes up, you start preparing for it.
Deadlines come in all forms and are necessary. They incentivize work that needs to be finished, and if it isn’t there will be consequences.
But they can also work the opposite way. If the deadline is too soon for too much work, you are going to extend it. For example, a deadline to lose weight. 10kgs is a bit too much for a month. So you set that deadline, but halfway through, you are barely even close thus you stop with it entirely.
Or you set up too many unrealistic deadlines, so you never finish the work, thus you lose motivation and discipline entirely.
They can’t be too far away as well. Deadlines that are a year further away, you probably won’t do anything with them in the first 3-6 months. So why have them in the first place?
Deadlines are needed though to make sure you progress at a healthy pace and then go for the big sprint close to the deadline. For example, finish an indie app at the end of this month. Whether you actually finish it or not, you probably have built 80% at least for it. Or lose 2kg at the end of the month, similar story. You probably have at least lost 1kg and that’s already some progress and is better than none at all.
Also, understand the 'bootcamp' power and use it well. Those last days before a deadline are immensely powerful. Those days are when you force yourself into ‘the zone’ with sheer discipline and focus. Mountains can be moved within those days. Use them well but also understand that they should be treated carefully cause you can’t keep moving mountains every day for a whole year.
Deadlines are necessary and a powerful tool to progress yourself.