The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.
Since I began to blog, I have been able to post twice a week each Wednesday and Sunday without fail. That was until this week came along... this week is the first time I said to myself, "I'm gonna miss my Wednesday deadline!"
Why you may ask? Well... some of my reasons include the influence of Mercury in retrograde, a couple of new projects that have come my way, a school course, a long weekend that confused my routine, and various other general excuses. It was during my mental prioritization I actually said to myself, "Just miss a posting, no big deal".
I then responded to myself, " A deadline is a deadline... so get it done". I'd like to offer some thoughts on this, if I may.
But first we should look into where the word "deadline" came from. It seems there was an infamous prisoner of war camp called Andersonville during the US Civil War, and by all accounts it was a hellish place to find yourself. The camp was surrounded by a stockade and twenty feet from the in face of the wall there was a line that was sometimes marked and sometimes not. If a prisoner crossed that line, they were summarily shot on the spot. They called it the deadline. By the 1920's, the term had evolved into a less violent form and became synonymous with a time limit or due date, particularly in the newspaper business. It has now found its way into every day life as the time something is due.
Deadlines can be man-made or created by mother-nature and influenced by many factors including those of our own making. In writing this blog, I want to focus on the deadlines we create, not necessarily deadlines that require getting off the volcano before it explores (although there is a certain motivation that comes with it).
Let's look at the spirit of what the deadline is for a moment. In a very practical sense, deadlines are needed to get things done and are particularly important if there are a sequential number of activities that are dependent on the previous one - Deadlines are the natural check and balance to ensure that we in fact get things done. The deadline also serves another very important purpose - It develops urgency and inspires. Nolan Bushnell* happened to say, "The ultimate inspiration is the deadline" and this has become a motivational quote making its way around the Internet.
The trick with deadlines however, is to ensure that they are realistic but also set in such a way that they stretch a person or a team to complete the project as quickly as possible. Poor deadline setting, result in constantly pushing the deadline back from its original date or doesn't create an environment of urgency and inspiration to make the impossible, you know, possible. This is where the need for good leadership to strike the balance comes into play.
So if we look back to my blog situation that started these prose, I think it's fair to say that the goal of twice a week is realistic, as I have been able to do it to date. Ultimately I had to get creative by altering my process and resetting some priorities to ensure that I was able to meet the expectations of a Wednesday post. So me saying, " a deadline is a deadline... so get it done", is completely appropriate and achievable. In its simplest form, I had to get inspired to figure it out - Having a deadline achieved that.
About now, I should emphatically point something out that is very important. None of your core principles should be compromised to meet a deadline; be it quality, integrity, or anything you hold sacred. For me, at the core, I want to ensure that what I write is an improvement over what I previous wrote, be it grammar, content, or what people think.
With my deadline on the horizon, I want to mention one last thing; when you get a deadline that is End of Day (EOD) or End of Business (EOB), please remember that the business day officially ends when you fall asleep.
*Nolan Bushnell is an American engineer and entrepreneur who founded both Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters chain.