If you’re not working with deadlines, you’re just drifting through space and time.
What time-lines are you working to right now?
You should have a time line. Even if you’ve never been active in the market before, you need to be getting ready for the opportunities that are coming.
They could be here before you know it, and gone even more quickly.
So you need to be working to a timeline because a lot of what the market throws at us over the next 6 months or so is going to be time sensitive.
But you also need to map your goals against timelines for another reason – so you don’t disappear up your own bum!
This is something I see a lot. People map out their goals. They set their peg in the sand, and then do a beautiful job of mapping out the journey. I’ll need to do this, and do this and do this.
But they don’t put any deadlines on it. They think they don’t need to. They’ll just plug away and it will take as long as it takes.
They’ll go as fast as they can, and having some arbitrary deadline on things won’t help them go any faster, right?
There’s two problems with this idea.
The first is that you’re not putting any defensive walls around your goals. Life will happen, problems will come up, and your goals will get pushed onto the back-burner.
Sometimes that’s ok. Sometimes, you know, you’re dealing with a global pandemic. You’re going to have to be a little bit flexible with your schedule.
But pandemics are rare, and it’s much more likely that you’re workflow gets derailed by garden-variety crises. Mum breaks a leg and someone’s got to look after her. The kids get suspended for graffiti. There’s a surprise invite to join a family on the south coast for a camping holiday.
Life just happens.
Deadlines are your defence against life. When you’re asking yourself “how am I going to find time for this” you don’t start raiding your productive and life-dreaming hours.
So that’s one.
The second reason why deadlines are important is because they make you cut corners.
Look, too often perfect is the enemy of good.
So if you’re working through the financing module at your own pace, you’ll just let it take whatever it takes.
But if you have a tight deadline, then you might end up just doing whatever it takes to get it over the line on time.
You might cut a few corners and hit it at 80% good enough.
And look, I would much rather you work through the materials like this – quickly and ‘thoroughly enough’ – than spending too long on it to get it perfect.
Sustain momentum. Move towards action. Don’t overthink the theory.
So this is my advice. Make sure you’re working to a deadline. Use the discipline of a deadline to push you forward – even if it’s faster than you would other wise like.
Action is always golden.