Why We Need Deadlines


Deadlines are critical in order to get things done. Most of us, myself included, need deadlines to avoid procrastinating on things that might be important but are not urgent. Both at home as well as work, I try to bookend our projects with an event that forces everyone involved in wrapping up lose ends and making sure the project is completed in time for guests to see it.


I decided to schedule an open house for The A Group’s new offices less than three weeks from our moving in date. I knew it would be a tight deadline. It’s staggering the amount of work that goes into moving offices, computer systems, phone systems, workstations, furniture, signage, and on and on. And while in the midst of all of that, still get work done. The tendency is to get enough done to be functional and continue to  fix things up as time allows. Well, time never allows for much. So after years of moving in, all the good-intentioned things we had in mind for the new space is forgotten and abandoned as the newness wears off.

Right now our new offices are frantically getting put together. Our entire team and vendors are working hard to make sure this space is done in time for our guests to walk through it. After all, we don’t want to say, “in this space we plan on putting a collaborative conference table with multiple monitors so we can connect to screens and share what’s in our computers, and we also want to create artwork based on some of our projects.”

Right now you might have projects that are in perpetual limbo. It’s functional but not completed. I suggest you set a date, invite people you care about over and give yourself a hard deadline to be finished.

What came to mind as you read this post?

  • The Tyranny of the Urgent

  • Just went through this. Managed the movement of department of 45 analysts and software engineers to a newly redone facility. Delayed our customer tour three times due to circuit panel overheating (and almost catching fire even before the server room went on line due to defective parts) and then network issues beyond our control for connecting to a satellite location. Hope yours goes better! Missing a deadline when you cannot control the reasons is still missing a deadline. Never will like that, even though I have to accept it.

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