(Pulse Check #20) Use Deadlines To Get More Done

Let’s talk about an important business (and life) practice that everyone hates.

Deadlines.

Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? It states, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Put another way, the more time you give yourself to do something, the longer it will take.

If you never set a deadline, the chances of you completing that task are minimal. I don’t know about you, but I have a long list of things I’ve been wanting to do for months and haven’t gotten around to them yet. Something else always seems to come up…

But the tasks that I put a deadline on, get done. Not always by the deadline, but usually pretty close. More importantly, though, they get completed.

It’s human nature to put things off, especially difficult things. Coincidentally, those difficult tasks are the ones that will have the biggest benefit.

Like finally starting a clinic or your next business venture.

But that’s not what our brain wants. Our brain wants the easy route. The path of least resistance so it can feel good and not have to deal with the fear or anxiety of failing.

If our brain doesn’t have to make a decision, it won’t. It’ll push off the task to the next day. Then the next and so on.

Failing to put a deadline on something tells your brain it’s ok if this never gets done but adding a deadline creates that necessary tension your brain needs to push you forward and do it.

There’s another great place to use deadlines…

In your marketing or conversations with potential patients.

Deadlines will encourage people to make a decision that will help and benefit them greatly—a decision they might not make otherwise.

How often have you spoken to a prospective patient about a treatment plan… One that you know is going to completely turn their life around only to hear them say, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.”

And then you never hear from them again… I know it’s happened to me a lot and I always feel bad. Like I should have done something more.

When I started adding deadlines, like telling them, I’ll follow up at the end of the day for a decision or the next day. I started seeing more patients say yes to treatment.

They were thanking me for giving them the push that they needed to start. It was exactly what they needed to finally make a decision, and they were so happy they did.

Sometimes adding an extra incentive to get started now can be a big help too. Use that at your discretion and what makes sense for your business. There’s a reason why all of the major retailers use coupons and weekly sales.

Some people won’t like the deadlines or missing out on a discount because they waited, but you will always encounter people like that.

We can’t please everyone, and that’s ok. Don’t take it personally, and continue to help the people who you can help.

I would highly encourage you to start setting deadlines for the important things in your personal and business life. What’s something you’ve been putting off that you know or want to get done?

Write it down right now with a deadline for when you’ll complete it and get to work.

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