The Secrets Highly Productive People Use to Make Self-Imposed Deadlines Work

In the past four episodes of the ActiveGrowth podcast, we've dug deep into the topic of entrepreneurial procrastination.

From forming highly productive habits to resisting the allure of bright-shiny-object syndrome, we've covered many tools that can help you finish projects (and grow your business) faster.

In this episode, we're looking at another massive productivity booster/challenge: sticking to deadlines. 

Listen in to discover how you can set deadlines for yourself and ship, without putting the work off until the very last minute. 

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Episode Transcript

Bonus Content

As we mentioned in the episode, we updated our Your Job Is To Ship course! You can now find the fifth lesson with all the action steps and helpful advice on deadlines.

If you have already signed up for the course, you can log in here. If not, take a moment to sign up here (it's free!):

In This Episode You'll Discover:

  • Why putting things off has a much more serious effect on your business (and your life) than you might think.
  • How to change the way you work so that it feels like time is on your side, instead of always against you.
  • Why we always start on important work in the very last minute (and how to use this fact to your advantage).
  • How the way you think and talk about time can make a difference to how productive you are.
  • Why external deadlines are more effective than self-imposed ones (and what you can do about it, as a self-employed entrepreneur).
  • Softer and more "hardcore" solutions to make sure you don't miss deadlines anymore.

Resources

Can You Stick To Deadlines?

Have you tried any of the tricks we talked about in the episode to stick to deadlines? What works the best for you to make sure you ship in time? 

Join the conversation below and share your personal experiences with us!

Want to be featured in our future podcast episodes? Leave us a quick voice message about your story and experience with the topic:

See you soon with the next podcast episode!

About the Author Alexandra Kozma

Alexandra is a traveling marketer. When she is not editing podcast calls or writing blog posts, she's out there exploring a new city. She's the creator of the Morning Mindset journal.

  • Lorenzo D says:

    Awesome episode, may be the best in this series…I’m a little surprised you did not mention the Pomodoro Technique, a very easy way to implement mini-deadlines, very versatile and very effective too. Perfect example of the habit-by-reward principle. It’s a great way to track your time in small units and establish a steady, distraction-free work rhythm at the same time.

    Quantifying your time that way is also a rudimentary way to gamify the whole process, every Pomodoro you can finish in a day is like a videogame level completed or reward achieved…as well as learning to get more and more work done in a single pomodoro.

    • Thank you, Lorenzo!

      Both Hanne and I have experimented with the Pomodoro technique in the past and it didn’t work for either of us. I have heard from people who like it, but for me, it’s impossible. When I get into the zone, the last thing I want is a bloody buzzer going off ever 45 minutes (or whatever the interval is). But yes, it’s worth trying out for sure.

      • Lorenzo D says:

        Interesting and strange. I mean, it incorporates so much of what you advocate in this episode. I work in 20 min chunks and 3-5 min breaks, challenging myself to get as much done in 20 min as possible. Though I do often keep working after the buzz. Definitely speeds up my work, but also, it gets me off the chair often enough to not destroy my back and internal organs. Sitting for long stretches of time is worse than smoking.

        Speaking of which, have you thought about a series of episodes about simple wealth hacks for entrepreneurs? Physical and mental performance are sort of the root level of our success, you mess that up, you mess up your whole game, and vice versa. For example, I find that having only one meal per day is really beneficial both to my body and my schedule.

        Marketing tech that cost you time rather than money still comes first though :)

  • Anuj Narula says:

    Hi Shane,

    I noticed you’ve gone from a direct response mindset to a branding mindset. IMimpact was so much more cooler a name ;-)

    Took notes during this episode. Thanks for sharing your methods. Seriously, the pre-selling your product trick can be used to put a rocket on a project if you actually manage to sell some copies. I think in old school direct marketing they do something called a “dry test” to validate a product before making it. The two sound similar.

    But, what are the legal repercussions of doing it? I mean – is it allowed in all countries and markets?

    • That’s an interesting question, yes. The practice of selling unfinished stuff seems global, from pre-oders for books or games to selling tickets for events before those events take place. Plus, things like Kickstarter are all about selling stuff that doesn’t exist yet. It’s still a good idea to get official, legal advice about this, of course.

      • Anuj Narula says:

        I see…

        The pre-orders for games, of course, I can relate with. Even the events thing. But I guess it varies from nation to nation and government to government.

        Ummm…I know this is an odd place to request it, but could you update and re-release you Keyword Research guide? A lot of things have changed over the years.

        Thanks in advance :-)

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