The Joys of Deadlines


Photo Credit: Emily Dolton amazing wife, mother and artist

Most people do not envision a joyful scene when they hear the word “deadline”. In fact, the word has “dead” right in it. If we said “lifeline” instead, you would think you were on “Who wants to be a Millionaire”.

All kidding aside, deadlines have their benefits. I imagine that most people have at least some aspect of their job that they find less enjoyable than other aspects of their work. Since most work situations require all of the tasks to be done, there are tasks that may need a little boost of motivations. That is where our friend the “deadline” comes in. Once we have established that a task has a deadline, it now has a perceived priority or urgency. This task will then find its’ way to our “to-do” list and placed in the cue to be worked on.

At work, if I did not have deadlines, I would most likely relegate assessment report writing to the status of perennial procrastination.  Luckily (for the fate of my reports) each of these reports come with tangible unyielding deadline. Fortunately for me, having a report deadline helps me prioritize my job responsibilities so I can make the most of my workday.

Recently, our family was motivated by a “deadline”. On May 5, 2012, our garden was a participant in the “Clairemont Garden Tour” (see video of garden here). Before even considering the Garden Tour, we had already accomplished a lot around the house. All the hard-scaping and structures were completed last summer. The main thing that we had not completed was painting our house.  Finishing painting the exterior of our home is the task that benefitted the most by the “deadline” of May 5, 2012. I had started painting our house last September. Over the winter, we had many wet weekends and our kid’s activities and other fun weekend events took priority. A month ago, just about one half of our home was completely painted. A week ago, only one side of the home remained. On May 4th, 2012. The task prioritizing effects of the magic “deadline” facilitated the painting of the complete exterior of our home. I am very thankful for the effect of this deadline since I now have a significant life task off my proverbial “plate”. I would be remiss to leave out that this deadline also helped get the entire home clean from inside and out. The house looks the best that I have seen it!

Another benefit of deadlines is that deadlines can stimulate the decision making process. When you are “down to the wire” on a deadline, you really need to consider what is essential to your mission and take the necessary action. When my wife (who is the creative genius behind the garden endeavor) was performing her finishing touches on the garden, she had to leave out a few artistic elements from the final reveal. She ultimately focused on the tasks that would generate the greatest amount of benefit for the moment fellow gardeners started visiting.

The next time you hear the word “deadline”, remember that this tool can actually help you decrease task stress by giving you a method to prioritize your work. Deadlines help kick things in gear and encourages you to make the “tough decisions”. Deadlines are just another form of a “lifeline”.

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5 Comments to “The Joys of Deadlines”

  1. Sweet thoughts. Thanks Raw

  2. Great post, Baby. I am particularly fond of the fact that I am labeled a genius twice! Ha!
    I am very grateful thus deadline is over! Now we can reap the rewards of just relaxing in our garden! Thank you for all your awesome work!

  3. I was just thinking about deadlines today. I have been given another one and I really appreciate them. They do take a lot of stress off. Having an unknown or “I’ll get around to it” can cause more mental angst.

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