Deadlines and Due Dates

A deadline is a specific time. After this time, any action towards your goal is useless. You can’t vote the day after the election. If you arrive an hour after your baby is born, you miss the experience.

A due date is a time that we set for ourselves. If you go past a due-date, there might be a consequence, but the opportunity is not completely gone. You have a due date for your library books, but you can always return them a day late.

We should treat more of our due dates, like deadlines. How would your attitude change about the report you are working on if you knew that you wouldn’t be allowed to go a second past the deadline? What about the product you are working on? Due dates feel malleable, deadlines feel like a brick wall rushing towards us.

If you want to effectively complete a task this week – set a deadline, not a due-date.