Deadlines for deadlines’ sake

I work really well with deadlines.  I rarely turned anything in late in high school or college.  I’ve always been really good at budgeting my time.  That doesn’t mean I always turned in the highest quality product, but damn it, it was done!

So I struggle with creating deadlines for myself related to my writing.  On the one hand, I really do accomplish a lot when I set them up for myself.  Even more, when I tell others about my self-created deadlines.  On the other hand, my goal is not just to finish, but to finish the best possible product that I can.  And I’m not striving for an A or a B+.  I’m striving to create something that someone else is going to want to publish and in this market that means it has to be better than good enough.

Does anyone else work with deadlines in their creative life?  Does it work?  Can you do it without sacrificing quality?  Got any secrets worth sharing?