In our most recent podcast we discuss deadlines, a sometimes terrifying item on the calendar. For most of us, deadlines mean pressure. Pressure can be a good thing, a lot of incredible things in life are created under pressure. Too much pressure, not such a good thing. Whether pressure and deadlines are good are bad are determined by how we respond to the pressure, and, whether the deadline should be there in the first place.
Yes, not every deadline is necessary and many are self-constructed and arbitrary. The thing is, in business, and in life, we decide the metrics we measure ourselves by and we have control over how we allow deadlines to pressure us.
Some of you may be saying to yourself, I have deadlines, I don’t decide them and meeting that deadline will ultimately determine my performance, value and, perhaps, whether or not I keep a job or a client. You are correct in one sense, we won’t argue that imposed deadlines can have consequences, potentially large consequences. What is worth examining is: what is the reason behind the deadlines and why are they in place? If there is a solid ‘why’ behind a deadline, it could be a worthwhile deadline and can help keep you on track or measure your performance (over a finite period of time). If there isn’t a good ‘why’ behind the deadline it may be time to ask yourself if the deadline is actually accomplishing anything or simply applying unnecessary pressure when none is needed.
Don’t let deadlines be the death of you. Be careful with how much weight you put on deadlines and be prepared to be flexible with deadlines. After all, nothing else in nature and life is static!
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