Always on a deadline? My list of excuses and a desire to crack the problem! – Jan 17, 2012

So the office day began with a serious introspection into why we (which could mean architects, the office people specifically, Indians or the world in general) work through the night till 6AM in the morning whenever we have a project deadline! Marco, Founder mHS and holder of the marker was positioned in front of the white board, with all of us listening to him in rapt attention. “For once,” he says, “I’d like to leave office at 6PM the day before the deadline!”

So why exactly do we push ourselves dead to meet (and sometimes overshoot) deadlines? A number of reasons come to mind.

First, the projects we work on have completely unrealistic deadlines. Ridiculously, these are sometimes set by us and not by the clients or the boss, so we have noone to blame but us. Its great fun when you can blame the ‘other’ though!

Second, we try to do an exceedingly excellent job and spend far too much time on the details, completely losing sight of the whole. When we do get to the wrapping up bit, we realize everything is falling apart and we are left with many excellent parts that refuse to come together. By this time, we don’t have enough time to make that mammoth effort of pulling it all together!

Third, we just don’t love the work at hand enough, or the ideas are simply eluding us.  We indulge in the sheer pleasure of whiling away our time with a deadline sitting on our head (to borrow from the Hindi phrase ‘sar par baitha hai!’). Its called procrastination and the guilty pleasure is fun while it lasts and turns to panic the night before the deadline!

In most cases, however, none of the above are true. Most of us lead crazy lives with multiple activities and responsibilities. We are singularly ill equipped to plan our schedules in a sensible manner. We expect too much of ourselves, we’re scared to say ‘no’ to superfluous work and we don’t respect ourselves enough to draw the line when the mind no longer works and the head throbs! It’s all fair in the name of personal development, career growth and ambition; all of which would be right on track if we were able to crack the right process to meet the deadline in the first place!

 

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