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Groeschel: The Imaginary Deadline

For years I struggled with managing my time effectively. One tool I learned that dramatically increased my effectiveness is the “imaginary deadline.”

If I’ve got a project without a deadline, it’s easy to procrastinate or work halfheartedly. When an assignment has a hard deadline, I start faster, work smarter and focus better.

  • Instead of thinking, I need to have my sermon finished before I preach this weekend, I have a Wednesday-at-noon deadline. It’s not anyone else’s deadline. It’s mine.
  • Rather than saying this video needs to be finished by next week, I complete all videos by Wednesday at 2 pm. Again, this is my deadline.
  • Instead of deciding to read my Bible plan some time during the day, I have mine read before I leave my house.

These are all imaginary deadlines. But when I treat them as real, my productivity and efficiency increase.

I’d love to hear from you if you do something similar.

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Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of Life.Church, an innovative church meeting in multiple U.S. locations and globally online. Traveling the world as a champion of The Global Leadership Summit, Craig Groeschel advocates to grow leaders in every sector of society. He is the host of the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast, the most listened to leadership podcast in the world. A New York Times best-selling author, his latest book is Dangerous Prayers.