For me, often a project without a deadline is dead in the water. When I’m designing for myself (for fun), I have to create reasonable deadlines or projects will just drag on with no end in sight. I’ll admit there have been many projects that I’ve started only to forget about them later, because I didn’t feel a strong need to finish them anytime soon (and thus, they were never finished). [Sigh.]
So I will often try to impose deadlines on projects because they help me to stay focused. Deadlines just give me that little extra bit of motivation to get started and continually work on projects. I need that because it’s so easy to be lazy. It’s easy to think that you can do it anytime you want—tomorrow or the day after that or next week or next month. That much freedom is too much; I need to give myself constraints otherwise nothing will ever get done. I need to force my own hand.
While I may not meet all my deadlines, at least I’m making an effort to meet them. And usually with my self-imposed deadlines, I create deadlines that are on the tighter side so I have some extra leeway to push them back if need be. Deadlines are great because they help to create pressure, which I find necessary to help me get things done.