The Ticking Clock

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017-08-03 12:00:00 No comments

Steve has some thoughts on deadlines and how they affect productivity:

My Agile Life: The Line Isn’t So Dead

... Agile methods are about adaptability and doing things right – a lot of good productivity methods are the same way. The thing is if you focus on the deadline, you often forget about doing things right – and you stress yourself out.

... What’s the most important things to do and how do I do them effectively was more important than a given deadline in most cases.

Sure the deadline mattered, but unless the deadline was truly more important than doing it right, it wasn’t a worry.

... the focus on the deadline may make you miss doing things right. Consider this – if you focus on doing something well, won’t you get it done quicker, especially over time? Won’t it last longer? Won’t focusing on quality and work first, ironically, mean you’ve got a better chance of hitting the deadline (or at least being more on time later)?

Valuable advice no matter what kind of work it's being applied to, but I think it's twice as important when applied to work that is entirely your own, and happening entirely on your own schedule.

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is tentatively scheduled to be released at the beginning of next year. Emphasis on the tentatively. In truth, that's a best-of-all-worlds scenario; my suspicion is that it will slip somewhat. Some part of me feels bad for even placing a tentative timeframe on the release, because I hate to build up expectations and then tear them back down. Underpromise and overdeliver, and all that.

I also know that by putting a deadline out there, a deadline, even one that might slip a bit, keeps me honest. It reminds me that the work I start is only going to be finished by me. I can kick the can further down the road, and I really should if the deadlines I set prove unrealistic. But at least I have one to move ahead in the first place, if only for my own sake.

Tags: deadlines discipline writing