Christmas, Deadlines, and Procrastination

Christmas is a deadline that can’t be postponed.

4 benefits of deadlines:

  1. Focus.
  2. Urgency.
  3. Decisiveness.
  4. Action.

Deadlines don’t work when goals don’t capture hearts and minds. December 25 is just another day if you celebrate Hanukkah. But if you celebrate Christmas, you busily prepare to meet the deadline.


Own it:

People miss deadlines because they don’t own goals.

Goal-ownership makes deadlines meaningful and useful. Explain goals in terms that matter to others rather than you.

Discuss, clarify, and if necessary, sell goals.


#1. How do current goals fulfill organizational mission?

How would your team members respond if you asked them to connect current activity to organizational mission?

Generic mission yields apathy.

Make mission clear enough to be actionable on a daily basis.

A note on mission:

Mission is about the people you serve, not the benefit you receive. “Making a profit,” is the RESULT of fulfilling your mission, but profit isn’t a mission.

When profit is your mission, it’s a mask for greed.

(Neglecting profit is doom. The issue is the way it’s earned.)

#2. How do today’s goals help you get where you want to go?

Deadlines motivate when goals have meaning. Connect goals with personal aspiration.

#3. How might your strengths help you meet your goals?

Build on the strengths and skills that enable performance.

10 reasons people procrastinate:

  1. Goals seem unattainable.
  2. Deliverables are insignificant.
  3. Poor time management skills.
  4. Lack of follow-through from leadership. Missing deadlines didn’t matter in the past.
  5. Poor alignment between skills and activities.
  6. No compelling ‘why’. Goals are not tied to mission or vision.
  7. Discouragement.
  8. Fear of failure. Lack of confidence causes foot-dragging.
  9. Perfectionism. A perfectionist uses perfection as an excuse for delay.
  10. Deadlines are distant. A deadline set for the day after tomorrow has more impact than a deadline set a month from now.

What’s important about setting effective goals and deadlines?

Why do people miss deadlines?