People Who Don't Take Deadlines Seriously – Trajan King

People Who Don’t Take Deadlines Seriously

Working with people who don’t take deadlines seriously is very frustrating, especially for someone like a founder or CEO who is very organized and trying to move the business forward by executing on a plan.

Not everyone is a Type A, organized personalty though and certain personality types and cultures just don’t think much about deadlines (I’m looking at your “creative” people).  People can work very hard, yet consistently miss deadlines, which can throw off the entire schedule of production and operations.

So how do you deal with those personality types who are more laid back and laissez-faire?

Different styles

First, it’s important to realize everyone has a different way of working that may work for them. It’s tough to get everyone to conform to your style, but deadlines aren’t style specific. It’s not relative.

So secondly and most importantly, ensure there are no misunderstandings.  What you consider a deadline may be considered a guideline or suggestion to others. If you’re running a team, make it clear that the due date is a deadline and not just a time when you’ll check in on the team to see how they’re doing.

Communicate expectations

Miscommunication is one of the common reasons people miss deadlines. Record the due date in meeting minutes, a project management system or a follow-up email. Anything that allows you to point back to a record and show there was a deadline.

If a person or team misses a deadline, it’s much easier to hold them accountable if the deadline was clear and written down.

Do you work with people who are terrible at deadlines?  I’d love to hear your thoughts below.



0:00 – What is the Culture of Deadlines?

1:00 – Missing at a big company could mean your job is at peril.

1:30 – How to work with freelancers and contractors who don’t take due dates seriously.

2:00 – Drive progress.

2:30 – Define a policy & enforce it.

3:00 – What to do if you will miss a deadline? Building your credibility by being dependable.

4:50 – How to set your deadlines.

5:40 – Attach rewards or penalties.

Who is Trajan King?

CFO & former Wall Street analyst helping your reach financial independence.

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Trajan King

Hey hey. I'm Trajan. I'm a minimalist entrepreneur who loves exploring the world (42 countries), learning new things (7 languages) and trying to get better every day (working on my backsquat).

I write about entrepreneurship and building an optimized and happy life through systems, good habits and scientific research.

Join me and we'll discover how we can build businesses we can be proud of.