Creating Your Own Deadlines

Hi there,

Welcome to another edition of Simpler Sundays, a newsletter aimed at giving you a dose of relaxed reading at the end of each week. This is the 16th edition of Simpler Sundays. If you’d like any of your friends or family to subscribe to this newsletter, you can share this link. That said, let’s begin this week’s newsletter.

“Here, take these 2000 rupees,” Rohan said to his friend.

“But why are you giving me these? I didn’t ask for any money,” came the reply from his friend Shubham.

“Just take these and promise me you won’t return these until I fulfill a very specific condition,” said Rohan.

At this point, Shubham was really confused. He couldn’t understand what Rohan was doing. But he nonetheless decided to play along.

He said, “Okay, fine. But what is that specific condition?”

“You won’t return me my 2000 rupees if I fail to show you my completed Physics assignment by Friday,” came the reply from Rohan.

This got Shubham intrigued. He enquired, “Enough with the games now. Can you please explain to me what is going on?”

It was at that point Rohan started explaining the whole thing.

“Alright, let me explain. You already know how I always put off my important tasks until the very end. Thinking that I’ve enough time to complete it, I am always left scrambling during the dying moments.”

“Yeah. But what has it to do with 2000 rupees?”

“See, the 2000 rupees are a sort of deadline I am creating for myself. The original deadline for this assignment submission is not until next Friday. But I know myself. I know that I would postpone this assignment too until the very last moment.

The point is, I don’t want to postpone it this time. I want to utilize the next week on a personal project that I’ve been putting off for a long time.

That is why I want to finish my Physics assignment this week itself. So, this is me doing something to make that happen.”

“So by giving me 2000 rupees, you plan to pressure yourself to finish your Physics assignment?”

“Yeah, kind of. I have been saving these 2000 rupees from my pocket money so that I could buy myself a new video game. If I don’t finish the assignment by Friday, I will lose these 2000 rupees. So, either I’ll do the assignment or lose this money.

And I can’t let that happen because I’ve been waiting to buy this video game for a long time. If not for any motivation, at least I will do it for the video game.”

“That’s amazing, Rohan. I’m really impressed. I didn’t think you were so wise. One last question though.”

“Yeah, sure. Ask me.”

“What if I don’t give your money back even if you finish your assignment by Friday?”

“Well, my friend. In that case, I’ll have to murder you.”, and they both burst into laughter.

Rohan’s story is an amazing example of how we can optimize our life in order to do things that are really important to us.

Many of us are like Rohan. We postpone our important tasks until the very end. We fail to perform our required duties until it becomes absolutely essential. We do this during our exam preparations, during our office assignments, and even for our own passion projects.

But in doing so, we start hating ourselves for pushing these things till the last moment. We make promises to ourselves that we won’t repeat this again but ultimately, fall in the same trap.

We even try watching some motivational videos only to see ourselves going back to old ways. The key is then to not rely on motivation but create an environment that facilitates work.

I am also like Rohan who tends to postpone the important things until the very end. If you are like that too, then this simple trick can help you – Create your own deadlines.

Here’s how I benefitted from creating deadlines:

Committing to this weekly newsletter has allowed me to develop a consistent writing habit. Every Sunday is a deadline for me. So, I need to create content for my weekly newsletter, whether I feel like it or not.

Moreover, I’ve committed to posting daily on my Instagram. This also helps me write daily because now it’s not a matter of motivation, it’s a matter of habit.

In a similar way, you can also create deadlines for you. Here’s how:

  • You can do what Rohan did and ask your friends to not return your money if you don’t perform a specific task.
  • You can tell people in your social circle about a particular project that you plan to finish by a certain time. This peer pressure will build accountability and thus, force you to complete that particular task.
  • You can also set an alarm or an event reminder to regularly remind you of your important projects.
  • You can stop Netflix or Gaming and make a pact with yourself that you’ll only indulge in them once you complete your task. A reward can be a strong motivator.

These might be some unconventional ways. But remember, you can only achieve results that others are not achieving by doing things others are not doing.

The Good Word

As you might know, the ‘Good Word’ is a series showcasing my favorite quotes.

So, here is this week’s Good Word:

“Humanity must seek what is not simple and obvious using the simple and obvious.”

– Musonius Rufus

VyasSpeaks Featured Post

This week’s featured post is about persistence.

Read the post by clicking the link or image below.


That’s all for this week. I’ll see you next Sunday.

Stay safe and take care.

With love,
Shikhil Vyas

Leave a Reply