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Summary & Resources:
If you want to make your own way in the world of business, you have to stop taking deadlines from other people and start making your own deadlines.
In this episode:
- The importance of setting deadlines for yourself.
- How to deal with missed deadlines when you’re the one setting them.
- Using deadlines as motivation to get some serious work done.
- Breaking down your big goal into actionable steps.
- The importance of smaller goals.
I wanted to talk today about the importance of deadlines and I’m not talking about school deadlines and I’m not talking about work deadlines. I am talking about your own personal deadlines.
What you need to do is make deadlines whether you think you need them or not. It seems a little weird to set deadlines for yourself, but if you don’t set deadlines on your projects or your articles or anything you’re producing or trying to get done, it’s probably not going to get done.
The thing is that there have been studies about giving somebody a month to do a project and giving somebody four days to do a project. And usually they’re about the same quality of work. Sometimes even the four day, like the lesser time you get for doing a project, the better you do. Your mind and your productivity is going to fill whatever time you’re given to do something.
It’s just human nature. It’s the way things are. If you don’t believe me, think back to your college days or if you’re still in college, you can think back to your last final paper that you’ve written for a class.
And you probably were told about it on the first day of class. And you may have done a little bit of work on it in the beginning, but I’m guessing 95% of that paper was written either the week of the final or the night before.
I’ve experienced this myself with my undergrad. We had all semester to make a short animation of our own. And while I did work on it over the course of the semester, probably 80% of the work got done in the last two weeks. Animation takes a little longer, So your crunch time deadline expands a little more than, you know, writing a 10 page paper.
But I’m sure we’ve all experienced this. I know I’ve experienced this, and that’s the importance of setting deadlines. In the end of July, I got a journal and I started writing deadlines for my articles. I think in July I may have published maybe three or four articles, maybe once a week. I’m not 100% sure.
But once I got that journal and I wrote down and planned out my week, what I had were deadlines that I had to hit. I had an article that had to go out every Monday. I had an article that had to go out every Friday. And I had what I deemed as “Traffic Tuesdays” where I would spend my free time on Tuesdays getting traffic to the things that I had just created. And then Thursdays are for recording podcasts. And Wednesdays are just kind of catch up days.
But I’ll tell you what, setting these deadlines really drove me to complete a lot more things in August and now in September. So every day I look at this journal and I see what I have due coming up, what I’ve set out for myself that day. What I have taken time out of my day to plan for what I needed to get done. It may seem like a waste of time to plan when you can just do things, but having no plan is a plan to fail.
You need to have a plan, you need to have deadlines. If you’re building funnels for somebody else, you probably have an obvious deadline. But if you’re building your own funnel, you probably don’t have a strict deadline. You know, you want to make money, you want to get it done, you need to collect leads. But when. Think about the timeline that it’s going to take you to realistically complete the task at hand and maybe even try and give yourself a little less time than that and drive yourself to complete your results.
And like I said, just journaling has really driven me to get those two articles done per week and really boost my website up by, you know, making it bigger and more likely to rank because I have more content on it. And Google likes bigger sites. I mean, you can rank when you have a little site, but it’s hard and it takes time. You also never know what’s going to hit. You never know what’s going to be popular.
We had an article for my wife’s blog that we wrote about a review of a baby book app, and it did nothing for a year. And then the guy went on Shark Tank, the guy who invented this baby book app, went on Shark Tank, and we had 700 people visit that page in a day. Like, it just exploded. You never know what’s going to hit. It’s almost hit and miss. But I mean, there’s still tactics behind SEO if you wait for the amount of time that Google deems necessary to to make it rank.
But you don’t need a journal to be successful in planning your productivity schedule and making your deadlines. If you don’t want to go out and buy a $30 motivation journal. I think mine was the Legend Planner, which I really like. I’m not saying anything bad against it. I’ll put a link in the show notes for it because it’s really a great one. But if you don’t want to go spend $30 on a specific plan or grab a sheet of paper, make a seven by five box and write the numbers of the month on it and there’s your calendar.
So start putting what you need to get done that month in the boxes, and then do it. You might want to save a little space on the side for a to-do list, or you may want to save a little space for motivational lines that you can write down, such as “what will my life be like if I accomplish my main goal for the month?” And obviously, writing down your main goal for the month provides that extra layer of focus and urgency, because you want that goal.
You need to be able to motivate yourself with these deadlines. And what happens if you miss a deadline? Well, you have to rearrange your schedule and that can be a pain. If you’ve written now your whole month, now things have to be pushed back, or you have to find more time on an otherwise spoken for day to make up that miss work. But you should always be going in order of your production schedule. So you’ll be pushing stuff back. And that should be motivation enough to try and get it done that day, if you can. If not the next day.
Either that or you’re not breaking your goals up into small enough pieces. I’ll link to the Goal Wizard that I’ve created that will help you take your major goal and break it down into actionable steps. That way, you’re scheduling, what you can get done and you actually have to think about the process of what you have to get done other than, you know, “make a million dollars” is not a good goal.
“Make a million dollars on August 31st” is not a good deadline. You need to break that down. How are you going to make a million dollars? Is it realistic to make it in the amount of time you’ve set it out for? And once you start thinking in these smaller bites, larger goals become very accomplishable and deadlines become a driving force to get those smaller goals done because your mind isn’t freaked out as much, because it’s not quite as big of a goal overall.
It’s just a smaller bite that you know you can take. And when you break down that goal, you know that doing that smaller task is going to get you one step closer to your goal. The planner that I have has, I believe, it’s three month goals set out and then monthly goals set out. So you have to look at that bigger picture and then make your deadlines on the smaller tasks at hand. And there have been projects that I’ve had to scrap. Maybe not scrap so much as push to another month.
I’ve put too much stuff on my September because I was finishing writing an article series and I also wanted to write a book this month, but I’ve had to push that back to October and I’m going to make more room for that in October. I got some of the graphics together this month and I started it. But my production schedule for blog content, which took precedence so I can get this series done, kind of took over. And I knew I needed to meet those deadlines more than I needed to get that book out this month.
So next month I’m likely going to rearrange my schedule so that I’m doing maybe only one blog post a week or utilizing some of the content that I’ve spoken and had transcribed that I haven’t made into a blog post yet that will take a little less time to polish up and get out the door. So I have those assets that I can use to save some time, but I’m going to prioritize writing the book in October.
We’ll talk about business assets in another podcast because they’re vital to your business. If you think about other businesses, when you’re buying their newer products, they’re usually giving you a bonus offer of something they’ve previously created. So that’s just a quick note on business assets. But you also need to be able to work those into your deadlines. You need to make sure you’re factoring in everything that needs done.
Even if it’s not a major project, even if it’s just taking time to write out your expenses for the year. I haven’t done that this year, and that’s always fun. At the end of the year is taking the time to go back and see what I’ve spent money on in the business this year. Definitely something I need to get better at. And I have a new program. I can also give you a link to that. That helps me manage my business. And I’m going to start setting out of time every month to write down the expenses for that month. That’ll give me a better picture of where my business is at and then I won’t have that scramble at the end of the year, trying to meet the end of the year deadline. I’ll have broken that up into smaller, smaller pieces, smaller deadlines each month, and that will just be better for me overall today.
Show notes will be available at mastersalesfunnels.com/008. There should be a lot of good stuff in there this week. As I’ve mentioned, several resources that you can use for deadlines in your business.
And that is why deadlines are important in your business. Make sure you’re setting them, make sure you’re holding yourself accountable and as always, keep funneling.