A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

Just the Sound of “Deadline” Makes Me Cringe

Aha! Moment Monday

We are always facing deadlines.

A deadline to submit a proposal, a deadline to register for a course, a deadline to take advantage of a special offer, a deadline to achieve a weight loss goal, a deadline to launch a brand strategy, a deadline to eat yogurt, and in my business of implementing custom marketing tools, a deadline for the product to arrive on time for an event.

In a conversation the other day with the brilliant Dr. Jussi Eerikainen, we were discussing the power of words and how aware we need to be of which ones we use and how.  We agreed we didn’t like the word “dead” in deadline.  The history of the phrase we’ve adopted references a line drawn around a prison beyond which prisoners were liable to be shot.

Will we die if we don’t submit the proposal on time, or lose less weight in time or if journals get held up in customs and don’t make it to an event?

Conversely, what happens when we meet the deadline?  Do we get to live?

Aha! ~ Let’s start setting lifelines instead

Many successful people call deadlines “toxic” because they can impede creativity and the natural order of accomplishment (we all know that force negates).  Others find the line motivating.

I suppose it’s possible, to some degree, that a portion of our business might die if we miss fire somewhere or in extreme cases we might die if we don’t get the weight off but I’m suggesting a de-stressed approach to a goal line (as Dr. Jussi calls it) by shifting perspective about what the line actually means.

Imagine the injection of business you would gain by being awarded the bid.  Imagine the improvement of your health by releasing some unwanted fat.  Imagine the referrals you receive when you deliver quality products and services on time as promised.  We strive to bust through deadlines as opposed to being inspired by lifelines.  Either way we’re always simply navigating circumstances and choices.  New opportunities with new lifelines present themselves continuously.

Let’s be honest: achieving anything requires clarity, commitment and a timeline.  That’s the magic trio. The question is simply would you rather be pressured and scared into a deadline or inspired and encouraged by a lifeline?

Positive language to the soul is like Epsom salt baths to the body and both are so worth it.

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