Deadlines are important motivators in goal setting and that’s why the T, in SMART Goals, refers to the term time bound.
Time bound means the time you allocate for you to complete your goal. An obvious start and end date for your goals are a momentous piece of your goal-setting plan.
When you set start and end times for yourself, you are better able to stay on track. It gives you the ability to focus on your goal while providing something to work toward.
The Effectiveness of Mini-deadlines
Mini-deadlines will help you keep up motivation because you will celebrate your smaller successes along the way. Deadlines will also help with time management, making your goal more easily accomplished by way of tracking progress.
Managing your time well will help you allocate your time where needed, toward achieving your goal. And will also allow you to evaluate what may not need as much of your time as you thought.
Some say time is money. Others say time is precious. And I’m in agreeance more with the latter than the former.
Time Distribution Matters
Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted.
So, unless you must carefully distribute your time, your goals may fall to the wayside and become overtaken by everyday tasks.
Time-bound goals have start and end dates. Setting a time frame for yourself in whom you expect to complete your goal, will give you a sense of urgency. Time bound goals also keep you focused on the task you have laid out for yourself by helping prioritize your everyday tasks.
As someone with experience in procrastination I know fairly well that it’s easy to get caught up in the things we have to get done in life. Work and family obligations often take over.
And Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted; meaning that other tasks will take over, if you let them.
I remember during my college days that whenever I had to study for a big exam or final, suddenly cleaning the toilet, doing the laundry, or de-cluttering a messy table I paid no mind to previously became the most important task of the day.
It can be easy to get sidetracked.
But, when the goal is time bound, it helps keep the goal in the forefront, with a sense of necessity.
Ensuring Your Success
Mini-deadlines are another way that time-bound goals help ensure success. You can set yourself some smaller deadlines within your primary goal and reward yourself for those mini successes along the way.
For example, let’s say your goal is to walk for 30 minutes, 5 times a week for 3 months, in the evening when you get home from work, to get healthier. The deadline here is 3 months.
An example of a useful mini goal could be at the 1 week mark. If you check in with yourself every Friday evening and you have followed through with walking for 30 minutes every evening after work for that week, you have successfully completed your mini goal.
Another example would be someone who wants to hone their writing skills by writing more every day with the ultimate goal of someday releasing a published work. A mini-goal that could help in writing more would be to write for 10 minutes a day for one week. And by the end of the week, looking back at your work you will see just how much you accomplished with just 10 minutes a day!
If you allow yourself a small reward for achieving the mini goal, you will further solidify success.
Time sensitive goals are an important part of the SMART Goals method. And setting deadlines will increase your productivity and help ensure your success.
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