Do you like Monday deadlines?

I’m working on a piece on the case for and against Monday deadlines. As a freelancer, I’ve been advised in the past to ask for Monday deadlines on long projects. The idea is simple: Most project managers/editors won’t deal with whatever you turn in on Friday until Monday anyway. So asking to have until Monday gives you wiggle room. You’ll aim to be done by Friday, but if you need a few extra hours, you can polish over the weekend and turn in a better project Monday morning.

Of course, the downside to this formula is pretty obvious. If you have a Monday deadline, chances are you will work over the weekend, which many people don’t like to do. If you’ve got issues with procrastination, a Friday deadline means you’ll huff and puff on Thursday and Friday, but then you’ll have the weekend to recuperate. If you’ve got a Monday deadline, you’ll huff and puff on Saturday and Sunday.

Since I usually give myself personal deadlines that come before real deadlines, I’ve found that Monday deadlines are all good. Having that extra time available over the weekend if I want it does make me feel more relaxed about projects. But I can see the other side, too. Do you like Monday deadlines?

6 thoughts on “Do you like Monday deadlines?

  1. Tuesday’s my sweet spot, I think. I like saying “Tuesday EOB,” and in case something goes awry, I know I’m always really productive on Tuesdays. In an ideal world, I’d have everything ready days in advance, but clients’ rush requests and their amazing, magical ability to want something at the same time (never fails!) can throw my schedule for a loop, anyway.

  2. I’m a university lecturer, and I have often debated this question with myself – should I give students the weekend to work on something? For undergraduates I usually come down on the side of ‘no’, as then they tend to leave it all to the weekend. For postgraduates, who are better at managing their time, I come down on the side of ‘yes’. but i certainly don’t look at any of those essays until the Monday!

  3. I would think it also depends on whether it involves collective work or not; if it does I’d opt for a friday deadline, making sure ‘weekend workers’ don’t force the other to work on Sunday because they do.

  4. I also love Monday deadlines, for two reasons:

    1) Wiggle room, like you said. It’s an incentive for me to get things wrapped up by Friday afternoon so I can win back weekend time.

    2) Client feedback. If I send out deliverables on Fridays, one of two things happen: Either I start to get lots of feedback or edit requests over the weekend, or the client ends up not getting around to checking the work until the middle of the following week anyway. Dropping product on Monday means everyone’s got it on top of mind for review early in the new week.

  5. I want a Friday deadline. Always. When I was testing for my architecture license, I took the first couple (of seven total) on Mondays. For the third one, a Monday wasn’t available so I scheduled it on Friday. It was like I opened up a whole world of relaxation. There was nothing worse than taking a 4-hour test on Monday and then having to go back to work on Tuesday. I loved taking the test on Friday, going home early and breaking open the wine before 5. It made my weekend so much better. Then I was actually rested for work on Monday and rarin’ to go. When I have a deadline on Monday, even if I set -and meet – my personal deadline on Friday, I end up worrying about it all weekend, making the personal deadline worthless.

    1. @Heather – makes total sense. And yes, it can be hard to disconnect and relax if you have a Monday deadline, even if you’ve made your own internal Friday deadline.

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