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How To Use Deadlines To Boost Your Productivity 

October 30, 2023

Photography Education, Mentoring and Courses Melbourne

If you’re more creative than analytical, the idea of setting deadlines can send a shiver down your spine. But believe it or not, deadlines and productivity can actually help boost creativity in the long run!

So, what are the benefits of deadlines, you ask?

Don’t worry — your biz bestie is here to help you sort it all out. Today, we’re talking about how to unlock the power behind setting deadlines, staying on track, and getting stuff DONE! 

Deadlines and Creativity: A Toxic Combo Or The Perfect Pairing?

Are deadlines good for productivity? Absolutely! But what about creativity? 

While most of us know that deadlines and productivity go hand-in-hand, when paired with creativity, deadlines get a bad rap. 

But are deadlines really the arch enemy of your creative mindset? Actually, when implemented correctly, not at all. 

In fact, deadlines can be a creative person’s best friend, especially if that creative person struggles with keeping a schedule or staying on task. Let’s face it, sometimes we photographers are better at nailing the perfect photo than we are at doing all the more structured, worky things that may come before and after the photoshoot with our clients. 

Oftentimes, creativity is synonymous with spontaneity, which may lead to a more scattered approach when it comes to finishing tasks. This is why deadlines not only help to keep us on track, but they can also help increase productivity. 

Why Deadlines and Productivity Go Hand-In-Hand 

Now that we know how deadlines can boost productivity without squashing creativity, it’s time to talk more about the advantages of deadlines. 

What Are The Positive Effects Of The Power Of Deadlines And Why Is It Important To Have Deadlines?

Let’s start with what we’ve already discussed – deadlines help boost productivity by reducing procrastination. 

But deadlines can also do so much more. Deadlines can help keep you on task and ensure you hold yourself accountable when it comes to time management. 

When you set a realistic deadline for yourself (more on setting realistic deadlines in a moment), you’re often able to move past the busy work and get into the meat of what needs to be done. This removes the perfectionism we as photographers often struggle with, which can sometimes put us in a never ending cycle of almost-there but not-quite-completed tasks.

When you set a deadline and stay committed to meeting it, you’re less likely to allow yourself to get hung up on the details that don’t matter. Instead, you focus on what does matter, you’re more likely to stay focused, and you’re able to get more done in a shorter period of time. Overall this means less stress for you, happier clients, and better work overall. 

How To Use Deadlines To Boost Your Productivity As A Photographer

Remember, having deadlines and meeting deadlines are two different things entirely. It’s one thing to set a deadline for yourself, but it’s another thing to follow through. 

As a photographer, part of your job involves being a self-starter, and this means holding yourself accountable for setting and then actually meeting deadlines.

How Effective Are Deadlines And How To Set Yourself Up For Success

Deadlines can be very effective, but only if they’re used correctly. If used incorrectly, deadlines can lead to anxiety and stress, which will often lead to worsened productivity overall. 

This is why it’s so important to set realistic deadlines for yourself based on your personality, schedule, and unique work style. 

For me, I find it can be helpful to be specific with my deadlines. I keep a calendar with smaller tasks that eventually lead to the bigger picture, allowing me to plan ahead and schedule accordingly so I’m not stressed or overwhelmed. 

If you’re like me, try setting small deadlines each day or week that are attainable with your schedule, and remember that smaller accomplishments will eventually lead to the overall finished product if you’re diligent and consistent. 

Try not to adjust deadlines, but if you do have to, that’s okay. I often find it’s nice to plan ahead and give myself some wiggle room. If it’s helpful, try setting soft deadlines that you can aim to meet with some flexibility, along with hard deadlines you won’t allow yourself to miss. 

Why Is It Important To Meet Deadlines As A Photographer?

Setting deadlines not only matters to your clients, but it also matters to you. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of getting caught in an unhealthy cycle of perfectionism (not me over here, raising my hand). 

While being a perfectionist has its perks, it can also lead to feeling discouraged and anxious. Worse, it may lead to unfinished work because (in your mind at least) it’s not perfect enough to be considered complete. 

Setting and keeping deadlines will help you overcome this vicious cycle, especially if you take your deadlines seriously. 

Give yourself a certain amount of time to “perfect” what you’re doing, and when that deadline comes, no matter what, you need to be done with that task. 

You’ll often find that not only will this ensure your projects get completed on time, but you’ll roll out more quality work while also being able to tackle more projects in a shorter period of time. Thus, you’ll soon become a master of time management! 

Wondering How You Can Use Deadlines And Productivity To Your Advantage? 

Learning how to use deadlines to boost your productivity doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re eager to learn how to implement deadlines into your daily grind to really capitalise on your photography business, get in touch! 

I’m proud to offer workshops and 1-to1 coaching aimed at helping photographers just like you learn how to really grow their biz and find success. So let’s get started!