Finish Clean

Everything can go perfectly, and it lands with a thud.

When that happens, it can mean that we didn’t finish clean.

We see this in pro sports sometimes. Nothing is less satisfying than watching a receiver drop a perfectly thrown pass in football or watching a basketball player miss an open layup.

We get caught up in how we start, what the middle looks like, how are things going to feel when something bad happens, etc.

That doesn’t matter if you screw up the delivery.

 

Finish strong

3 Fun Ideas About Deadlines

Deadlines are necessary. When it comes to doing creative work, especially the work that is difficult, it is often best to have a date circled in the calendar that puts pressure on. When I used to think of this idea, I used to think it was a necessary “evil”. The truth is, it isn’t evil at all, but one the ways we can take control of our bias and grow into our better selves.

It is tempting to let the idea of setting a deadline lapse, especially for things you’ve done before*. It comes back to an ego thing. “How many times have I done a design brief? it always takes 7 days so ill just do it.” Most of the time it works, and it is out of sight and out of mind. But there is opportunity that happens in just putting a deadline down.

  • It is on paper, so I can’t mentally change it. It’s easy to “move the goalposts” when there is no deadline. Tomorrow is only a day away, every day.
  • Metrics are important because you can begin to track wins and losses. Both can teach, especially after some time has passed. Doing a post-mortem, even on successful tasks, can get some serious feedback, especially if you can look at it objectively.
  • Whenever I look at my calendar, even briefly, old deadlines remind me of work I have done before. Just having something there, even from years past, can bring me back to what I did at that time.

Without deadlines, it’s very easy to get lost. It also makes sure that you understand what you are working on, and have a clear and present mark to judge yourself. If you write it down, then there is no escape. What is on paper is on paper and it can’t magically change.

*Like all things, this could go overboard. You don’t have to set a deadline for getting a drink of water