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“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” – Paul J. Meyer

“The best thing for my creative process is a deadline.” – Jeff MacNelly

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” – Nolan Bushnell

“Deadlines refine the mind. They remove variables like exotic materials and processes that take too long. The closer the deadline, the more likely you’ll start thinking waaay outside the box.” – Adam Savage

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill

“Adding a deadline and incorporating one or multiple forms of urgency will get more people to take action than would otherwise.” — Alex Hormozi

“Sometimes you just get in there and force yourself to work, and maybe something good will come out, ya know? Deadlines and things make you creative. Opportunity and telling yourself you have all the time in the world, all the money in the world, all the colors in the palette, anything you want-that just kills creativity.” — Jack White

“Everybody knows the power of deadlines – and we all hate them. But their effectiveness is undeniable.” – David Eagleman

“Everything is an experiment until it has a deadline. That gives it a destination, context, and a reason.” – Brian Eno



Real deadlines with severe consequences work wonders. When we have either, physical or monetary consequences, attached to not meeting task or goal expectations, we are forced to act. This is why we have contracts to regulate business relationships and laws to regulate human conduct in society.

From past ancient cultural traditions, there were natural expectations required from everyone.  These expectations were tasks assigned to every member of society with an agreed time duration to execute them. Failure to execute these tasks resulted in punishment or banishment from society.

Modern society would break down into real chaos if deadlines are not adhered to. There are companies that run on the premise of delivery on time. DHL and FedEx the two American Courier companies are run on that premise.

We need to think of deadlines in a positive manner as a tool that helps us achieve our goals and dreams

Existential Deadlines

When we face life or death situations we usually act fast. If our very survival is based on achieving a target within a set deadline, then we act fast.

This is why wars generate the greatest leap in technological advances. It’s a life or death scenario that a community or country faces. Statistics show that the victor usually has an edge in the sophistication of the weaponry used.

The 2nd World War, Gulf War and past historical wars usually support this theory. The countries that had advanced weaponry, prevailed eventually in the battle field. The brutal truth is that societies that are not technologically advanced are at the mercy and benevolence of those that have superior technology.

Examples of existential deadlines at work:

The Manhattan Project

The second world war brought about the development of the worst weapon in human history “The Atomic Bomb”.  German Scientists had made a breakthrough in nuclear fission studies in 1938. They had managed to split an atom into two.

The news of this development was relayed to America by fleeing scientists who urged the government to win this race in the development of the first atomic bomb. A special project was commissioned to develop this weapon led by physicist John Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves.

It was a race against the clock to ensure the ‘Allies’ developed this weapon first. If they had failed to do so the outcome of the 2nd World War would have been different. Two Atomic Bombs were dropped in Japan and this effectively ended the 2nd World War.

Other new fronts on technology were developed which included radar, microwave, computing and cryptography, satellite technology. There were also great advances in the medical field from trauma treatment, blood transfusion, skin grafts and antibacterial treatment.

Kidnapping and Ransom demands

When a loved one is kidnapped this is usually followed by ransom demands. You will find families of the loved ones doing all they can to fulfill these requests. They will leave nothing to chance and get this money no matter what happens to beat the ransom deadline.

It’s a terrible way to illustrate the effectiveness of deadlines but kidnapping scenarios usually show how effective a deadline can be to meet the demands of the extortionists.

Terminal illness and old age

When we realize that our days are numbered on this planet, it spurs us to do many activities in that short period of time left. You have heard of the movie the ‘Bucket list’. This is where a group of old men decided to list their key dream list and accomplish them.

We do not wish it to happen to anyone but those diagnosed with terminal illnesses like cancer always endeavor to do and carry out as much activities as they can accomplish within the short window of time they have left.

Existential deadlines have spurred many individuals to achieve dreams and execute projects they thought they had no capacity to achieve.

Productivity and Deadlines

No great goal or endeavor worth its name can be achieved without the use of deadlines.  The most effective projects and businesses use deadlines to spur productivity. Creativity and innovation are always spurred on by deadlines.

The greatest entrepreneurs the world has ever had insisted on deadlines. From Steve Jobs at Apple: He was adamant about deadlines, Elon Musk at Tesla, Henry Ford, Bill Gates at Microsoft, they all pursued completing strategic tasks by set hard deadlines.

It worked and produced some of the most innovative products known in the business world. Deadlines have magic in them they cause stuff to happen.

How do we meet deadlines?

Key to meeting deadlines is prioritization and effective time management. When you learn how to focus on the essential few that is when your life moves forward

Be a stickler for priorities in your life, allocate just enough time to carry out the task and avoid perfection. Delegate where you can and communicate if you will not meet the deadline to avoid stress and burnout.

Follow large project methodology where you break large projects into smaller tasks and milestones so that you gain motivation to complete the project.


Deadlines aligned with accountability work wonders to make projects and dreams come true. The most effective individuals on the planet insist on deadlines. They never leave open ended items in their schedules and lives.

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