4 Reasons to Stick to Your Deadlines

Did you know that Monday was the deadline to file a 1040 form to claim a tax refund for the 2009 tax year? I have seen some padded deadlines in my time, but 4 years? Sheesh…

TaxesSome of my Facebook friends were busy Monday night posting the status of their 2012 tax returns. Nothing says “Procrastinator in the House!” like hitting SEND on your tax return and then letting all your closest friends know you just made the deadline!

Program managers loooooovvee deadlines. Without deadlines, who will respond to our emails and validate our existence?

With instant access to tools and resources to make work happen, and when you can file your taxes 4 years late, what value does a deadline have any more?

  • Deadlines keep the wheels moving. Want something done? Give someone a deadline (blog editors around the world are nodding YES right now).
  • Deadlines mean business. Convey that you are “all business” by not just setting a deadline but sticking to it.
  • Deadlines convey progress. Setting a deadline requires you to assess and act upon the many steps to achieve a key checkpoint. The end result doesn’t happen without reaching milestones along the way.
  • Deadlines = Done. Nothing says “thank goodness it is done” like reaching a deadline.

ExpiredThe best way to undermine your credibility is to set a false deadline. “Oh, we’ll just tell people our deadline is X, when really we don’t need their <action/engagement/support> until Y.”

Who among us hasn’t encountered the perpetually changing deadline? I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to spend my 2009 tax refund…


Heather Nelson is a partner with PeopleResults. You can reach her at hnelson@www.people-results.com or on Twitter at @HeatherGNelson1. Sign up to receive the PeopleResults blog at Current.