Deadlines: Are They Soothing or Deadly To Us?

Just recently, we were given a deadline on a report in my place of work and in trying to catch up; I had to start putting in work before I resumed work the next day (I had to start working on the report right from home).

Although this was not the first time I was dealing with deadlines, I must say this time was extremely different.

Sweatiness, sweaty palms, seriousness were the ingredients that filled me all through and the thought of “I must finish this report before the deadline” also filled my heart simultaneously.

I gave myself shorter breaks and shorter plays just to make sure I use all my spare time in finishing my report before the deadline and I thank God it came out good.

Guess what?                     

I did beat the deadline and it was easy for my colleagues to discover this due to the uncontrollable smile on my face and the way I relaxed after the draining work. That day, I went home with a joyful heart and a relaxing mind.

But however, there is something I’ve noticed in the past and recently about deadlines that is making me ask this question here and now “are deadlines truly helpful to employees (everyone) in general?”

Thinking of this deeply, I have gotten to realise that they do go both ways.

Sometimes they (deadlines) get the job done perfectly and on time and sometimes they (deadlines) get the job done imperfectly but on time.

And the truth is all deadline commanders know this. They might just find it hard to accept it!

So if I May Ask, Should Deadlines be Given at all Time?

If I can answer this wholeheartedly, I’ll say no, deadlines should not be given all the time because nobody likes to work under pressure, even BOSSES don’t like to work under PRESSURE (their attitudes can be worst if it’s not properly taken care of in these circumstances).

Creating a relaxing environment is the least every boss can/should do and one of the ways to create a relaxing environment is to allow workers work at their own pace.

This was part of the topics (Creating a Unique Ownership Mindset In Your Employees) I learnt in a just concluded seminar I attended last week.  And it will be shared soon on the blog in its full glory. You just need to watch out.

What Are The Pro’s and Con’s in Given Deadlines?

I talked about this earlier but this time around let me go deep. There are many pro’s but this particular pro I’m about to mention stands out. I call it an ALPHA pro.

(ALPHA PRO) It gets the job done well and on time: I have noticed those who usually get this pro are those who don’t allow work pressure defeat them. These people just basically work at their own pace no matter how fast they are pushed. They tell their bosses that they’ll get the job done perfectly that they don’t need pushing.

A friend told me once “I’ll work at my own pace. I want to do an excellent job”. Not that these people won’t try to be fast, they will but they will be fast at their own pace. And in doing this sometimes/most times they meet up.

Now, let’s talk about the con’s, the APLHA con’s.

(ALPHA CON) It gets the job done imperfectly but on time: I hate this part the most because your happiness is not justified. You’ll feel happy you have met the deadline but you know deep in your heart that you didn’t do a good job or let me put it in my own words “you didn’t do a satisfactory job.”

You know could do better but you just couldn’t because of the limited time and most times only you know this deep secret. No one else do!

There was a time about 5 - 6 months ago my heart was burning on a topic. I felt I should share this amazing topic on the blog. This topic was so important that I had to put deadline on it because I know if I don’t put a deadline I won’t sit down to write it.

Guess what?

I did later sit down to write it but there was just SOMETHING OFF about the article after I finished the first draft. I could not recognise the particular missing part but I knew something was off about it.

Some of the things I later discovered were first, the deep thinking part of my brain was short down because of the deadline I placed on the article so I was not able to go deep on the topic in other words, I was cutting corners.

Another thing I noticed was the article didn’t make sense to me when I wanted to start editing. The topic did but the article did not. It was like I wrote it an ancient Greek language.

And lastly, I felt I could do more that there was more to the topic but I just couldn’t find it. You’ll understand this better if you write like I do.

In the end, i was not proud of publishing the article. In fact, it stayed in my draft till I was bold enough to delete it.

And I might have been wrong so far who knows?  If probably I had published the article it may have been my best article on the blog.

Just who knows?

Based on your own experience, are deadlines good for you or they are a no no?

Please share with me let’s discuss!

Image Credits To: Spencer Selover