Mar 02, 2012 / by Alisa Hafen / 1 Comment

Napoleon Hill said: “A goal is a dream without a deadline.”

A deadline gives you structure and a sense of accomplishment. Everyone has to deal with deadlines, whether it is at school, at work or home.

Without a time limit, we might never finish our work. Writers without deadlines have been known to tweak the same manuscript for months, even years, fixing and fidgeting over story line, grammar, tense, etc.

My book, Doing What Must Be Done, took over ten years to complete. From the time of conception, writing and then shelving it on and off for several years, it took a decade to complete. I could list several reasons why this happened, but the truth is, until I was motivated and dedicated to see it through, it was never going to happen.

A deadline had to be set – first in my mind, and then in the mind of those I needed help from, in order to see it come to its full fruition. And I needed to believe it could be done.

Was it stressful and yet exciting at the same time to finally reach my goal? You bet! Words can’t describe the feeling of accomplishment I have by achieving this feat. It is something I am proud to have completed and finally placed on the book shelves.

Perhaps, we don’t exactly ask for it, but, for many of us, deadlines are a way of life. Contractors have to get a house built in a set amount of time; our children all have deadlines in school; having dinner on the table is a deadline for our wives and mothers. We all have deadlines!

Deadlines teach discipline. Discipline is something we all need. We can define it as setting a goal and meeting it! Deadlines help us learn how to roll with the flow.

There are times in our lives when life seems to send us surprises. Our responses to these unexpected detours can make all the difference in how we are affected by them. If we can but stay focused, despite these roadblocks or even the unforeseen opportunities, we can meet our deadlines by learning to prioritize and organize.

Deadlines can also give us confidence. I believe we are also given the means by which to reach them. They not only teach us discipline, but organization as well.

We all tend to procrastinate at some time or other, no matter what we are doing. That is the easy road. I am more content with myself when I take the somewhat less traveled, more difficult road and meet my deadlines head on.

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline”

Nolan Bushnell