Episode #69 – The Deadline Effect with Christopher Cox

My guest this week is Christopher Cox, author of the book, “The Deadline Effect: How to Work Like It’s the Last Minute, Before the Last Minute.” There is something about deadlines. They can motivate and inspire us to do great work and they can create urgency – would we ever complete any significant project without a deadline? – but they can also cause anxiety and stress.

In his extensive research for the book, Christopher Cox visited a ski resort before opening day, a fine-dining restaurant before the grand opening and even an Easter Lilly farm as they planned ahead for Easter. In the process, he learned how successful organizations use deadlines to effectively mobilize and align resources. In this episode we discuss techniques and strategies we can employ to use deadlines to increase our own productivity and, perhaps even achieve a state of flow.

So, if you want to eliminate procrastination, get more done and feel better doing it, you won’t want to miss this one.

Topics Covered

  • How deadlines reduce anxiety and help us be more productive.
  • Why people mistakenly associate deadlines with anxiety when they are actually remembering the unpleasant feeling of procrastination.
  • Why it’s effective to space out deadlines.
  • What is the planning fallacy and how to avoid it.
  • How to work “right to left” to ensure your big project comes in on time.
  • What we can learn from how ski resorts meet their opening day deadline every year.
  • How to use a “soft deadline with teeth.”
  • What we can learn from people who prepare for deadlines that are random.
  • How, if we can achieve a state of being “constantly productive, constantly prepared,” we will experience a state of flow.
  • Why “as soon as possible” is the worst deadline you can set


The Deadline Effect: How to Work Like It’s the Last Minute, Before the Last Minute, by Christopher Cox.

Connect with Christopher Cox

Connect with Sean Murray

Email: seanm@seanmrealtimeperformance.com

Twitter: @seanpmurray111

Website: RealTime Performance, Inc.

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