By Joe Castaneda
Are you a procrastinator? Have you ever said, “On Monday I’m going to…” All of us, procrastinators or not, tend to function better when we have deadlines pressing in on us. Gary Ryan Blair says it this way, “You will always work best under a self-determined or externally fixed deadline.”
Often with the Overboard Life we have work that has to be done, projects that need to be tackled and short-term goals that need to be met. Yet, without some kind of “externally fixed deadline,” those things can go undone. We have the “best of intentions” and want to pursue what God is putting out there, but fear, procrastination or just a lack of know-how keeps us from being effective.
A simple fix can found in using a deadline that puts something concrete on the calendar. Just the act of writing the matter on the calendar can create the necessary motivation to get the job done. Here are three thoughts about why deadlines work:
1. Deadlines represent commitment. When you commit to a deadline (whether it’s one you chose or one that was placed upon you by some other external force) you are committing yourself to completing a task or project.
2. Deadlines also enforce accountability. I recently signed up for a 1/2 marathon with my wife Traci. We’ve picked the event, the Sleeping Bear marathon, and chosen the date: October 5th. Having done that, I announced through this blog, through facebook and twitter that I’m running and now a lot of people are tracking my progress as the race moves closer and closer. Announcing the deadline has created accountability.
3. Deadlines help to create urgency. As a college and seminary student, nothing propelled a mid-week all-nighter more than the looming deadline of a mid-term, 10-page paper or some other class project. Deadlines create urgency.
Do you need create some movement in your life? Simply adding a deadline to your activity may be all you need to move out of the boat, and out on the water where God is working!
What do you need to put a deadline on?
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!