Funny thing about deadlines.
Like rules, they’re made to be broken.
Lots of things can get in the way:
- Feature creep / budget overrun
- Unforeseen emergency that diverts time and resources elsewhere
- Change in strategy that requires change to project plan
- Someone gets sick
- Someone quits
- The internet goes down minutes before official go-live
Most of the above can be solved or mitigated in advance by underpromising and overdelivering, doubling the projections of time and cost in the estimate, and getting ruthless about not doing things that don’t matter.
Or, by working with Your Top Marketing Guru.
All well and good.
But there are two even bigger ways to ensure deadlines get met, which we don’t see discussed even one-tenth as much as they should be – which we will present from the perspective of the person(s) doing the work, to help leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs understand the impact as well as the opportunity quickly.
1) Seeing Your Deliverables Put To Work Quickly
Let’s say you rush to get articles completed to meet a deadline. Or design a marketing campaign for someone. Or build a webpage. Create a widget. Bake a cake. Paint a portrait. Whatever.
You slave and grind and push everything aside. You pour your heart and soul into it. You create a masterpiece. You turn it in on time.
And then… nothing.
It doesn’t get used. No one ever sees it. It just sits there and doesn’t go anywhere.
Have this happen a couple times, and honestly think about how much you’ll care about meeting these deadlines in the future. Especially when you have other opportunities to see your hard work deployed instantly, in other areas and places.
Your needs for gratification and recognition need to be served, and you will naturally gravitate toward opportunities that provide these, regardless of ANYONE’S so-called “deadlines”.
Similar effect if your work needs to be reviewed by others, and your submissions keep piling into a queue that goes unresolved.
That leads to our second thing:
2) Having Other People’s Work Dependent On Your Excellent Timely Deliverables
Let’s say that marketing campaign needs to be submitted by Thursday because by Friday morning the social media team, the web team, the e-mail team, and the people who stand on the corner waving the signs all need to be hard at work bringing in the customers.
Do the odds of you finding a way, no matter what the obstacles or stress, to get that campaign submitted by Thursday, just go WAY UP?
It’s one thing to fall short of your own expectations for yourself.
But when you inconvenience and disappoint others… most of us would rather eat egg noodles and ketchup than be seen as this guy:
On the other hand…
If missing the deadline won’t affect anyone else, then no big deal. There’s always tomorrow, or whenever it’s convenient to get it off your own plate.
Again: teamwork and dependencies spur timely excellence.
When You Ask For Timely, Excellent Work, Shouldn’t These Two Factors Be In Your Business Anyway?
Unless you actually plan to use their work, why are you paying people to do it in the first place? Should you assign them different opportunities you WILL leverage?
When you have a team, synergy and correct fit of the puzzle pieces is necessary in the first place. Does using this fact to spur timely excellence accomplish more result with less effort?
It just makes dollars and sense to us.