Why deadlines are important

There’s the saying ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person’ – but if you don’t give that busy person a deadline, they’ll probably never do it…

When I was putting out regular content on my parenting and lifestyle platform The Early Hour, I learned something important very quickly.

If people didn’t have a deadline, they would either never send back their answers for an interview or would need regular reminders.

So I started saying: if you could get your answers back to me by next Tuesday morning, that would be great.

And people tended to stick to it.

Psychologically, if we don’t have a deadline, we don’t prioritise the task.

So if someone says: would you be able to respond to my questions today, please? I usually will.

That will shoot up my list, ahead of answering emails/queries with no deadline.

If you want someone’s help – whether it’s free or paid – give a deadline.

It doesn’t have to be: DO IT BY FRIDAY OR ELSE.

It can be polite: if you could get it to me by Friday, that would be ace.

But without a time frame in mind, busy people let it slip down the list and then drop off the bottom.