Ericson Just

Comedian, Podcaster, Etc...

Here's To Deadlines

Best advice I got about getting something done was from Merlin Mann about two weeks or so ago on his podcast talking about task management and to do apps. 

I'm down to the wire here so I don't have time to look up the exact quote but essentially what he said is: the deadline has to be a do or die condition. Basically it's a critical failure if the task isn't done by that time.

And I thought that was genius. A deadline doesn't mean shit if you can say "It's cool if I get it done five minutes after the buzzer" because the deadline is the end of the game, it's your final shot and if you get a point in a minute after it doesn't count (don't start picking at the metaphor, I know how it works -- this is part of your problem). 

We don't keep deadlines to do things well. We keep them to get things done. Keeping ourselves accountable through practice. That's it. You're not going to make any more money or any better quality shit you're just going to maintain a credible and effective behavior. So when the time comes and it's down to the final minutes and you didn't expect to get to this point: you're still ready and you can still pull out just enough point out of your ass to score.

If we fail. If we miss. There's only one thing we can do: observe the process, figure out where we went wrong, and plan for the future. What you do not do is see you're thirty minutes away from the clock running out and figure "fuck it, it's not worth even trying". I mean, you can. It's your life. Do what you want to do but the results are just as binary as the choices: get something done or don't.