Do you wish you could beat writing deadlines, the smart way, by using your brain?

Well, now you can!

If you have ever struggled to beat deadlines, or struggled to hold yourself accountable to deadlines that you set yourself, be relieved. Modern research has provided some powerful insight to human psyche.

M.I.T. the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently completed a study. In the study they tested whether or not students who had hard deadlines performed better or worse on their final project scores.

The testing group was broken into three groups. In group one, each student set his or her own deadlines. In group two, hard deadlines were set for the project and the student had no control. For the last group, each student just had to turn all the work in by the end of the class.

The group of students who had total and compete freedom scored the worst and had the worst performance on their work, and the group of students who could set their own deadlines performed average.

But unlike the other groups, the group of students with rigid deadlines that were beyond their control scored substantially better than all other students.

It wasn’t even close.

Writing is an industry that thrives on deadlines. If you want to work in the industry, you must be able to provide quality copy, often on tight deadlines. Whether it’s a writing contest, an agent proposal submission, or a contract deadline with a publishing house, writers need to deliver their work on time—every time.

How can you use this information to not only help you meet or beat deadlines?

Stop setting your own.

If you have a publishing editor or an agent. Ask them to set firm deadlines for you to submit your manuscript, edits, etc.

If you are not yet represented by a literary agent, and not working on contract with a publishing house, get someone else to set your deadlines for you. This could be a spouse, a relative, or friend.

But is imperative that the person is unyielding and unbending. Give them full authority to pester and annoy you unless you meet your deadlines. And remember no person will want to help you set deadlines for long, if you don’t respect the relationship, and make sure to always turn your work in to them on time.

Do you struggle with keeping your own deadlines? Comment below with ideas or methods that you have tried.


Previously published at

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Written by Cyle Young

June 8, 2016

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