Procrastination is the enemy. In every facet of your life there are deadlines that need to be met. Whether it’s a work project, school project, when your bills are due (yes, those are deadlines too), they are in place for a reason. It’s not called “get it to me when you feel like it” line, so why do so many people treat it as such? The very definition of deadline is the time by which something MUST be finished or submitted. Nowhere in that definition does it say, “But it’s alright if you don’t.” If you procrastinate and miss the deadline on a school project, you may fail that course. If you procrastinate in paying your bills and continually miss the deadlines for paying you will end up sitting in the dark. If you don’t meet deadlines on work projects, what do you think the next step will be? You will probably be looking for another job.
When we go into companies and start enforcing goals and deadlines there is inevitably someone who seems to look at deadlines more as guidelines. I just had that happen recently. Someone in a department was demoted because she could not meet the goals and deadlines of the department. Even when she was demoted she continued to miss them as the new supervisor would enforce them. It became a huge problem and the employee started trying to make it look like the new boss had it out for her and the supervisor was the problem. The reality was the past culture and this person’s mindset was that deadlines and goals were only guides and she was so used to missing them, making excuses and that being acceptable, that she could not wrap her head around that deadline was the minimum standard.
Deadlines have to be enforced as well. If you allow your employees to constantly turn things in late with nothing but a slap on the wrist, then why would their habits change? Meeting deadlines is easy enough to do with prioritization and focus. Figure out what the priorities are and focus on them. You have to stop being apathetic about mediocrity and plan to succeed. Those deadlines won’t be so hard to meet if the plan is to climb the corporate ladder rather than waste away at the bottom.
Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at [phone link=”true”] or email@example.com.