Deadline Syndrome

Quickest Way to Beat Procrastination


The WhatsApp message from my partner read:

“1.. done

2… to be reviewed

3… get it done

4… send for review”

I was so lazy and too clever to know what was it about that I did not open the message until the next morning to read.

It was last minute. I know it. My partner urged me to complete the proposal the night before, but I skipped.

Now it’s 10 am already. I got hardly half an hour to catch my ride — before which I have to finish my part in the proposal.

You know what I did it.

It must have taken hardly 15 minutes. 10 minutes to actually write and another 5 to review the entire proposal.

Magic of Deadlines

We all must have had that one dreaded task — like my proposal — that we usually postpone to the last minutes. By some magic or the other, the task gets completed. At the last minute.

As the quote says,

‘Nothing is a great motivator than a deadline’.

Or, remember the Calvin finding inspiration.


I have been postponing completing the porposal so long.

I was dreaded. Not because of the complexity of the task, but what it demanded from me.

I thought that I need a full focused time to get it done and that it would take my longer to finish it.

But as I confessed it didn’t.

Discovering Parkinson’s Law

Tim Ferriss famously quotes Parkinson’s law that

‘Work expands to the time allocated’.

He also argued that then reverse must also be true. If we shrink the time allocated to a particular task, then it creates an illusion that it can be done in that particular time and eventually get it done in that particular time.

Re-discovering Productivity

I guess that’s what the deadline syndrome teaches us. Instead of calling it a syndrome/ a disease, I should call it ‘deadline phenomenon’.

I just need to decide that I will do this particular task only between x-y time.

That would mean scheduling a task on a calendar for a particular time, with particular time estimate would matter. So by constraining time, I am forcing..

  • focus
  • discipline
  • sense of urgency

Knowing that all the unscheduled ones are mine for the taking.

Call for Action

So, I am going to use this for my own productivity leaps henceforth. I am going to give myself an artificial time constraint to the tasks that I need to do and demand myself to get it done in lesser time than I would have previously anticipated [power of how long].

I should remember that ‘A job done is job done well.’

Second, to make the time constraint work I will schedule time on my calendar (power of when: which I was previously against to).

I have currently come up with 2 such tasks.

  1. Do journaling every night at 10–10.30 pm or 11–11.30 pm [experience journaling]
  2. 10 ideas list 1.30–2 pm after lunch.

Here is the algorithm I am going use for it.

I will do [A], when it is [B], so that I will get [C] to achieve [D]

# I will do experience journaling, when it is 10–10.30 pm, so that I will get materials for my blog post to achieve my bigger goal of writing everyday.

# I will write 10 ideas everyday, when it is after lunch, so that I will various ideas from my head to achieve my status of being an idea machine.

Now it’s your turn. Use the power of ‘deadline syndrome’ to urge to get things done and of course beat procrastination in the process.

All the very best!



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Sathya @SathyaHQ

Sathya @SathyaHQ


Work-from-home dad! Writer, Solopreneur. On a journey of personal growth & sustainable living. Subscribe to my newsletter —