DEADLINE OR DIE! (read time 1:53) Whether it’s a deadline to produce your record, publish your book, launch your site or release your app, the reason they call it a “deadline” is because if you don’t reach it, you’ll die! Actually the word “deadline” originated in my world—publishing. It refers to a time when a line of lead type was labeled “do not move” after it was edited, proofed and ready to print. Unlike the 1st issue of Music Connection magazine, which took us forever to finally get it to the printer because there really was no deadline—we could take as long as we wanted to get it right. However, once that first “weekly” issue hit the stands, our cred was immediately on the line and we were forced into a no-way-out situation—a promised print date loomed every issue after that for the next 35 years.    If you don’t make the deadline you may not die but there will be consequences. Your customers won’t trust you, your fans won’t evangelize for you, your readers won’t believe you, and your advertisers or sponsors will want credit on promises not kept. Remember, we not only buy your work because it’s exceptional, we also trust that you’ll keep your word and deliver it when you say. And we’re not very forgiving when you give us excuses or tell us your tales of woe. We don’t care that your printer screwed up!    The up side to a deadline is that it provides a no-way-out factor that actually supports you in keeping your word—to your self, your customers, fans, members, etc. And your Muse loves deadlines, because they’re the ultimate inspiration to provoke you to create and complete your very best work. I can’t possibly write these blogs & stories without a self-imposed deadline. The demon of procrastination will slow my progress and the devil of distraction will steal my attention. I must put a deadline on my work. After 33 years in the publishing biz the “deadline gene” is permanently embedded in my DNA!    There’s a common rule of thumb in the law: Never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer to. There’s also a common rule of thumb in business: Don’t proclaim that you’ll release, print, launch, publish or ship unless you already know you’re going to make that deadline—like it was embedded in your DNA. How about you, do you set deadlines in your world? Personal, business or project?
J Michael Dolan

DEADLINE OR DIE! (read time 1:53)

Whether it’s a deadline to produce your record, publish your book, launch your site or release your app, the reason they call it a “deadline” is because if you don’t reach it, you’ll die! Actually the word “deadline” originated in my world—publishing. It refers to a time when a line of lead type was labeled “do not move” after it was edited, proofed and ready to print. Unlike the 1st issue of Music Connection magazine, which took us forever to finally get it to the printer because there really was no deadline—we could take as long as we wanted to get it right. However, once that first “weekly” issue hit the stands, our cred was immediately on the line and we were forced into a no-way-out situation—a promised print date loomed every issue after that for the next 35 years.
   
If you don’t make the deadline you may not die but there will be consequences. Your customers won’t trust you, your fans won’t evangelize for you, your readers won’t believe you, and your advertisers or sponsors will want credit on promises not kept. Remember, we not only buy your work because it’s exceptional, we also trust that you’ll keep your word and deliver it when you say. And we’re not very forgiving when you give us excuses or tell us your tales of woe. We don’t care that your printer screwed up!
   
The up side to a deadline is that it provides a no-way-out factor that actually supports you in keeping your word—to your self, your customers, fans, members, etc. And your Muse loves deadlines, because they’re the ultimate inspiration to provoke you to create and complete your very best work. I can’t possibly write these blogs & stories without a self-imposed deadline. The demon of procrastination will slow my progress and the devil of distraction will steal my attention. I must put a deadline on my work. After 33 years in the publishing biz the “deadline gene” is permanently embedded in my DNA!
   
There’s a common rule of thumb in the law: Never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer to. There’s also a common rule of thumb in business: Don’t proclaim that you’ll release, print, launch, publish or ship unless you already know you’re going to make that deadline—like it was embedded in your DNA.

How about you, do you set deadlines in your world? Personal, business or project?

COMMENTS


Posted By Tim Gerwing
30 Days
Yes to deadlines! You may be interested in the 30 Days Project: thirty deadlines, finish a piece of creative work by the end of each day. I've participated in the project 9 times and have 180 pieces of music that wouldn't have existed otherwise.


Posted By Mike
Too many deadlines
If I set too many deadlines I get overwhelmed(usually the case), if I don't set enough I feel like I'm being lazy. There's a line somewhere and I cross it regularly.


Posted By Susan Haymer
Deadlines
I use deadlines or "due dates" in every area of my life. They're the ultimate motivator!


Posted By mark grove
Deadlines Are For Dullers
Yeah,sure it's good to have deadlines for publishing. But if you don't provide a great product or service all the deadlines in the world won't help. Just get what you need to do done,and over deliver. Don't worry about being right on with the deadline.Frankly, I think that kind of crap came from people who still work regular jobs full time, or they are foremen and always have co-workers who are never on time for a shift, or just dawdle at work. I see most people here are Sheep still going to the slaughter. Have fun with that, and I'll keep on being me right over here in this corner and lovin' it! Mark " Somewhere South Of Constitution Park") " It's Much Easier On yer' Constitution"


Posted By Rachel
DEAD....lines...
Michael, are you really peeking at me through those glasses??? I really am in this pickle right now, and NOT being the Tech, have no power over my situation....however, it will all turn out in the end, I surrender my project over to Higher authorities, and work on everything I can , until the wheel is put back, and I can drive on....destination in sight.... Rachel


Posted By Tim
Deadlines
This resonates a lot, and is also one of the core themes of a project I co-founded some years back called "30 Days" (http://www.thirtydaysproject.com). Sometimes we really need the power of an external deadline to just get things going. For me, it was creating a new piece of music every day for 30 Days. It's been a great way to generate new sketches and materials for albums.


Posted By Mike
Deadlines!
Michael, The demon of procrastination has had a hold on me for my whole life! If I don't set a deadline, I won't do something for weeks or months. Unfortunately, I have yet to get "deadline" embedded in my DNA, but your blog is a good reminder, thanks!


Posted By Gema
Deadlines
If I don't set deadlines for myself I'd never get anything done. The game I play is if I set a deadline I MUST honor it, or I won't set it to begin with.


Posted By Richard
Deadlines
I set deadlines all the time and I'm still alive! My wife and I have a well established voice-over business, and it seems that every single day there's another deadline to meet. I love it though. Like you Michael, I couldn't function very well if I didn't have a deadline in front of me.

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