Creating personal deadlines and objectives.

Perhaps strangely, I’ve always enjoyed deadlines. I remember, for instance, racing across London in a taxi to a national newspaper’s printing works clutching a piece of camera-ready artwork for a full page ad.

As I sprinted into the building (those were the days) a member of staff yanked the artwork from my hands and dashed off through a pair of double doors which swung back in forth in his wake.

They’d literally been holding the press for me, and I’d just made it, by the skin of my teeth.


Life in an advertising agency is built around deadlines like this. Space is bought in newspapers, slots are booked on TV, then there’s often a race to produce the material that will be printed or broadcast.

Although those deadlines were often nail-biting, there was always a great feeling of completion once you’d reached them. You’d done all you had to do, and could add nothing more once the presses were running.

Some of life, of course, comes entirely without deadlines. We do things in our own time. We take things as they come.

But I wonder if it’s useful to erect our own goalposts now and then? To take a task that could otherwise stretch into eternity, and make a commitment to have it finished in a week’s time?

(Or, at the very least, started.)

5 thoughts on “Creating personal deadlines and objectives.

  1. Thought provoking post once again. This is one of my biggest bug bares….. I procrastinate far too much and then wonder why when I do eventually get the task done , I am rushing and racing and putting so much unnecessary pressure on myself . This is something I have to work on! Hard to change the habits of a lifetime but doable I’m sure.

  2. Timely words. Going to set myself an achievable challenge for this week now. I shall not procrastinate …. Well
    I might a bit

  3. Just what I needed to hear this morning! I will set myself a deadline for outstanding chores and put it down on paper. A tick list. I love the imagery of the artwork for publication, John!

  4. Sorry Jon, but just starting doesn’t work for me. I can start projects just fine, it’s finishing that I need help with. Something more than a finishing date. It’s too easy to find “reasons” to postpone the project.

  5. One of the most helpful design features of the Moodnudges website is being able to review earlier posts on similar themes by ‘Category’. Take March 9, for example, relating to goals. It is easy to refer back to previous advice, take stock and through reflection, begin to resolve difficult issues. Highlighting key topic sentences helps the reader to grasp what is important when their ability to concentrate is compromised. Thank you for providing this.

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