This week I had a task with very short deadline, to make a document in very little time. The document wasn’t internal, but it was to a company to be presented to a customer. This is the life on the edge for a maker – there is no way to escape: you deliver or you don’t!
This takes me back to my early days as student and engineer, where having a deadline was terrible – a cause for anguish and lost sleep because I perceived it a bad thing, it was the evil hand that forced me to ship or bust. Of course, the reason this was the perspective was the “Resistance” working and sabotaging my efforts to make something important. Because of the “Resistance” and bad judgment I was fooled more than once not to deliver and pass the opportunity and be more of a talker than a maker. Luckily, it has changed.
Today I perceive deadlines as invigorating, forcing me to innovate and make remarkable things using the allocated timeframe. Instead of letting the “Resistance” drag me into a negative loop, I fool it by concentrating on the remarkable challenge. This kind of twist helps me make the deadline a game, where the reward is the uniqueness of the result instead of the delivery itself.
Seth Godin has an article on deadlines that summarizes most people reaction to deadlines and gives advices on how to handle deadlines. How this connects to the edge? For me, the deadline is a border, a state of mind where you must decide what kind of person you want to be and make an action on it, deliver or bust!
What is your pick?
Picture by swan-t (from flickr)
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