Deadlines

Deadlines. Does anyone really like them? They usually hang over us at work or business, cause stress, anxiety, and even fear. We first experience them in school as our teachers dole out homework announce quizzes and test dates and assign projects to be done.  As we progress from primary to secondary education the deadlines and assignments get larger and more significant.

By the time we graduate from college we are supposed to be “prepared for the real world” where we will continue to be challenged by work and various things that must be done by a certain time. We quickly become conditioned to the deadlines of life and before we know it they go from being an occasional annoyance in middle school to being something that our life seems to revolve around and by driven by.  The question I’m starting to ask myself is are we aware of how conditioned we are by deadlines and do we really understand the impact they have on both the quality of the work we do as well as our attitude about it.

Every job has expectations regarding the work you perform whether that is the capacity of an educator, a programmer, pastor, real estate agent or chef.   We won’t be employed for very long if we don’t meet or exceed what is expected of us.  While there is much diversity between jobs in different industries I believe the bigger variable is the personalities of the people and organizations we work for.  Do we dread deadlines themselves or do we dread the people who are imposing them on us?  Do we dread the task itself or do we dread the fact that we were told we had to do it?

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of needing to actually COMPLETE something and often there is a time frame for which it must get done.  If there wasn’t a time deadline we may often never actually complete the assignment.  I for one need deadline dates to help me prioritize and focus.  But as I expand the scope and variety of the work I do between work, church and business I’m starting to become more aware of my own motivation and how deadlines, dates and the people behind them influence it.

This will probably become a series of posts as I share my thoughts and learnings about myself but I’m also interested in hearing from you.  Leave your comments as to the impact or importance of deadlines in your professional or personal life.  Do they help you?  Do you find some deadlines easier or more motivating than others?  Why do you think that is?