Unpopular opinion: deadlines suck out the joy of life

I’ll cut to the chase. Less than a 100 years ago, when you needed something you’d go to a craftsman to order it. Let’s imagine that it’s a brand new suit.

You went to the shop, had a conversation over a drink, got measured, and chose your fabric. You then left the shop knowing when to go for your first fitting.

You generally knew that your suit would take a week or two to be ready, but if the craftsman got ill in the meantime, you wouldn’t blame them – that’s how it worked. You went to that specific person because they are good at what they do and you wanted to receive a suit made by them.

When you got your product you were happy. Because it was ordered to a craftsman, you appreciated their work. The sensation was one of pleasure and the craftsman could see your reaction and experience the joy of being appreciated.

Nowadays, we order a product and if it’s a couple of days late, we get nervous. We ask a professional to complete a task and set them with a deadline. God forbid they miss it.

If they do, regardless of the quality of their work, we’re disappointed. We end up dissatisfied and the professional receives no appreciation. And this repeats, time after time, request after request, order after order.

The human element, or the understanding that one’s ability to deliver is not identical all the time, is gone.

Today, we lack appreciation of it all – the product, the process, and the professional. We end up living in a constant state of bitterness and spread that bitterness across to everyone we cross paths with.

What if we ditched the deadlines? What if it took however long it took and we simply gave people the time to complete the job and showed them appreciation?

What if, instead of constantly scheduling our lives around financial projections and driving ourselves mad, we appreciated what we got and enjoyed the process.

What if we stopped rushing?

Would we fall completely behind and stop developing? And if so, why? Weren’t craftsmen and their customers our ancestors? Weren’t they the exact people that brought us where we are today?

I think deadlines suck. They mostly suck the joy out of everything – the process and the result.

Sadly, it doesn’t mean that I’ll abandon deadlines – this is a privilege that I cannot yet afford and I’m pretty good at meeting them. But I always pay the price to the Lord of Bitterness.

Nina Alexander
Nina Alexander

Nina Alexander is a Marketer with 20+ years of experience and focus on digitalisation, automation, and AI.

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