This paper analyzes the problem of a contest designer who chooses a starting time and a deadline of the contest to maximize discounted total effort by the contestants. Each contestant secretly decides how much effort to exert between the starting time and the deadline. At the deadline, the contestant who exerted most effort wins a prize, which consists of the endowment of the designer and collected interest. The contest has a unique Nash equilibrium. In the main model, the designer should announce the contest immediately with a short deadline to promote intense competition. I analyze how the optimal starting time and deadline change for a variable contest prize, different types of asymmetries, a Tullock lottery contest success function, and different goal functions of the designer.