Whether you are a freelance writer, an author, or a student, knowing how to handle your time is crucial. Tasks can be demanding and time can be short. Thus, asking yourself, “is there anything I could improve in my work approach?” is a good start to developing better work habits. If the answer is “yes,” but you don’t know exactly what you should change, you are in the right place. We can help you!
You just have to think outside the box. While society sets odd rules and foolish standards, you should never stick to the “usual.” Successful people find ways to flourish by using out-of-the-ordinary operational mechanisms. “Out of the ordinary? What does that mean?” some might ask. Good question! There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. A new work approach varies from person to person. People don’t think or act the same, so we cannot generalize and only use one rule.
What we can do is offer new perspectives and ideas from which you can choose. Improving your work approach and boosting your productivity should be a number one goal, so I am really glad that you are here. Writing is a beautiful art, yet deadlines can transform this art into a regular job.
So, our question for today: should you, or should you not set deadlines when writing? Let’s see why and why not.
You Should Use Deadlines
- Deadlines and Goals
In order to stick to your goals, it is essential that you use deadlines. If you don’t have any targets, procrastination and distractions could become an issue. You might develop a slow and unhealthy working pace. On the short term, that might not affect you that much, but on the long term, there is a high chance you will lose track of your work.
Our bodies work like programmed machines most of the time. If we have determination and commitment towards our goals, we move faster and we get things done easier. Goals help us stay on top of our work, and keep us entertained. We get the satisfaction of “seeing the view” after climbing the mountain; the view is our goal.
- Deadlines Encourage Reliability
If you are a freelancer, respecting deadlines will show employers that you are a responsible person determined to succeed. You can’t really avoid deadlines when working for somebody. Think about it. Being a student requires you to respect deadlines (you must turn in “that paper” until “that day” at 11:59 PM). If you are a content writer, you must obey your employer’s rules if you want the money; and if you are an author, you still have to publish some of your work in a decent amount of time. Otherwise, how are you going to survive?
In a nutshell, deadlines show society that you are trustworthy and reliable. You can’t really write those two qualities down on your resume; but what you can do is write, “finished a $2mil.project with a deadline of fewer than 2 weeks.” I am sure your next employer will be amazed by that!
- Deadlines Keep Us Focused
You won’t afford losing time if you are on a set timetable. Having no deadlines could mean procrastinating, yet respecting a certain time limit means no time for having fun. While that could potentially be a negative aspect of respecting deadlines, we could also look at it from another perspective: deadlines equal no distractions from our daily work. And what does that mean? More focus on your tasks, and increased productivity!
Concentrating on our work and getting things done in a fast manner is essential, especially when people are relying on us. It is important to have the motivation to start working on our assignments. Focusing on specific targets is also a great way towards our long-time development. Since we are constantly working, we progress quickly. Thus, our results improve and our productivity raises. And isn’t that what we all desire?
You Should Not Use Deadlines
- Increased Creativity
Of course, there are also many disadvantages of using deadlines as a method of increasing productivity and boosting results. You might wonder “What could possibly be the reason?” Well, it’s really not that hard to guess. Creativity. When we are pressed for time, always in a hurry to finish tasks and assignments, overly stressed, and extremely agitated, we won’t have time to think outside the box.
While some believe that to be a small disadvantage, I consider it humongous. Albert Einstein once said “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” And he could not be more right. Having the freedom to choose our own tasks and deadlines is less stressful. When we are relaxed, our minds open, imagination expands, and creativity gives birth to amazing results (maybe even more productive than if we used deadlines).
As writers, we need creativity in our lives. It is not enough to solve problems, finish tasks, and go to bed. We need to constantly use our imagination in order to produce quality content. As students, teachers, freelancers, or authors, we must use our minds to develop delightful stories or give out reliable advice.
- You Find Self-Motivation Within Yourself
It takes a lot of time and effort to become self-aware of our desires and long-time goals; but once we do, we become self-aware of ourselves. While deadlines keep us focused on our work, there is something wrong with using them as an incentive. That is because our incentives should be our own personal targets. Deadlines stop us from evolving personally to some degree. They give us momentarily reasons to finish our work, yet leave no space for us to ask, “why am I doing this?” We finish our tasks because we must respect a deadline, not because we truly want to achieve our personal goals.
Having no deadlines makes it easier for us to self-develop. We become aware of our inherent desires and realize why we do what we do. If we can’t find any good reasons for continuing, we stop. Ralph Salazar, content writer at UK BestEssays and world traveler, believes that “Using deadlines is stupid. Yes, as harsh as it sounds, there is no better way to put it. When you concentrate on deadlines, you stop concentrating on your own wishes; but aren’t your wishes and your goals the ones which define who you are? Letting go of your own self is stupid. Nobody should do that.”
By using no deadlines, we are not distracted by constant assignments anymore. We can focus on ourselves and what we really want. And hey! If we realize it’s time to stop, we stop doing something we don’t enjoy anymore. Deadlines can make us forget how thinking outside the box feels like – and that should never happen!
- Unpredicted Events
There are times when new problems or new tasks pop up out of nowhere. These events are unpredicted, thus there is no way we can control them. If we use deadlines to finish our projects, these events will draw us back. Why? Because unanticipated phenomena cannot be stopped or avoided. It just happens. But when we set clear deadlines and promise to finish a project by a certain time and date, we must keep our word. So, what happens when we must finish, but we can’t, because of a sudden event has occurred?
We stress about it even more. We overthink, become nervous, irritated, angry, and annoyed. Our health suffers, as well as our creational process. We are not able to focus well on our tasks anymore, and we freak out about any small detail that “was not supposed to go that way.” Soon, we become burnt-out. We might even lose track of our thoughts, and we definitely overload ourselves with an abundance of tasks. Working excessively and lacking sleep is really bad for our bodies, and it can easily make us lose productivity.
So, what do you think? Deadlines or no deadlines?
While there are many advantages to using deadlines as an incentive and proof of reliability, there are also many good arguments for the opposite side. Deadlines can be damaging as well. They can affect our creativity level, and limit us to thinking inside the box. It can make us lose track of our desires and long-time goals. So, before you start using deadlines, make sure you take both parts into consideration. Find the perfect balance for you! Good luck!
Warren Fowler is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at UK BestEssays, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.