Are you deadline driven? Good.

Deadline People moan and groan about deadlines and the pressure that comes with them.  But, that’s exactly why we should love them.

Here are some of the benefits of deadlines.

We get things done:  If there’s no deadline, there’s no incentive to actually complete the task.   You can stay in testing mode forever.

We don’t over-think:  Over-thinking leads to the homogenizing of an idea.  The more time a group (especially) has to think about an idea, project or action – they more they can worry it to non-existence.  Sometimes, you just have to leap off the cliff.

People have to overcome their issues:  Teams inherently have conflict.  A deadline forces each teammate to determine which conflicts are actually worthy of addressing and which ones they just need to put aside to get the job done.

Things keep simmering:  When I know I have a deadline looming, even when I am not actively working on the project, it’s simmering on a back burner  Ideas bubble up to my consciousness and when I do sit down to get it done, I’m already halfway there.

What do you think?  Are deadlines good or bad?   How do they help or hurt your efforts?

Related posts:

~ A clean slate and a deadline
~ Beating writer’s block

8 comments on “Are you deadline driven? Good.

  1. Deadlines are our friends. 😉

    Seriously, deadlines really keep me focussed. I’ve found that I can accomplish so much more with a deadline than without one.

    I learned about timeboxing from the most-organized-ever Sharon Sarmiento of eSoup. Now I set mini-deadlines for myself throughout the day (for example, getting small tasks done in 15- and 30-minute intervals). I set up a timer and go, making it a game. Accomplishing even little things creates really nice momentum and energy to push other projects forward, too.

  2. Chris Wilson says:

    Deadlines often give us the kick in the pants that we need to get the important things done. However, I think we run into the most problems with deadlines when they become unclear, and that can happen a number of ways.

    1. The deadline isn’t pinned down to an exact time period. Estimates and generalities often confuse deadlines, and everyone working towards the blurry goal.

    2. There are so many deadlines and every thing looks equally important. Then we are really back at square one, only with more stress.

    3. Deadlines have been repeatedly broken in the past, so it is hard to take any deadlines seriously. For example, I have a client that is famous for giving us fake deadlines and then when a project goes past the deadline (because they haven’t provided all the information we need to complete the project), they mysteriously come up with extra days or weeks to finish the project.

  3. I do believe that deadlines help break through team conflict issues. had a mentor share with me a concept years ago of “concurrence” vs. “consensus.” Instead of expecting everyone to agree on every point, they simply agree to “concur” for the purpose of advancing the project. That help put things in fast-forward to the deadline.

  4. KG,

    I like the mini deadline idea too. I think many business owners are competitive by nature, so even if we are competing with ourselves…it motivates us.

    That ties right into the joy that comes from crossing something off a list. Love that feeling too!


  5. Chris,

    Excellent points. I particularly get frustrated at the faux deadline. It trains people to just disregard all deadlines.

    I think the whole idea of deadlines gets much more complicated when clients get involved. For us, many times our clients need information or input from additional people in their organization. So even if they want to honor the deadline…they’re being held over the barrel by someone else.

    It’s like the telephone game for deadlines!


  6. Mark,

    Concurrence. Hmm, that is a very interesting concept. We’ve never used that word but we do talk about if something is a fall on the sword issue for anyone. If no one says yes, we find a way to move forward.


  7. Boy are you on track here Drew. I hate to admit it, but it took me about 2 years of marketing online to realize I need to have a schedule and set my own deadlines.

    It is a bit harder when you don’t have someone breathing down your neck because you know in many cases it’s not “life or death” if you don’t finish a project EXACTLY on time. But when I started making myself finish things ASAP I started getting SO much more done and of course the more ya do the more moolah you make.

  8. Josh,

    I think you’re right, it’s much tougher to be accountable to ourselves. We have to be more creative in terms of motivating ourselves.

    I wonder if that’s one of the reasons so many solopreneurs are drawn to MasterMind groups?


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