Deadline – what is it + in simple words + what does it mean
Freelancing people often hear the word deadline. Out of ignorance, a completely logical question arises about its meaning. The word seems tricky at first glance, but its transformation into understandable and simple synonyms for us allows us to quickly deal with the definition.
Let’s try to figure it out together and find answers to questions – a deadline, what it means, where it is appropriate to use this expression, how it happens, how important the meaning is. This information will definitely be useful to every person who wants to learn how to plan their day, manage to do all the work and work on time.
What does deadline mean?
This expression has recently become used in business vocabulary, but quickly became popular and in demand in the office "phrase book". Perhaps, given the origin of the word, it sounds biting and immediately characterizes the person who uses it as a knowledgeable, advanced, modern representative of society.
To answer the question “deadline, what is it", you need to delve into the history of the origin of the word and the literal translation. So, in English it sounds like deadline. Translated as "deadline", "dead line", "last frontier".
Turning to the history of America, you can find out that there is an opinion about the origin of deadlines, as about the boundaries of American prisons, which did not allow prisoners to go beyond the very place of detention. Of the same importance were the boundaries that limited the space available for the free movement of prisoners.
Where is the term deadline used now?
It is often used in their vocabulary by freelancers, designers, commercial managers, students of universities and secondary schools. As well as journalists, businessmen, athletes, copywriters.
Now Americans, instead of denoting the boundaries of prisons, use the word deadline as a definition of the time interval allotted for the completion of any work. These deadlines can be set by the customer, teacher, boss.
Consider the meaning of the term on the example of its use. “If I miss the deadline, I won’t get paid a bonus”, “Editors constantly torment us with short deadlines”, “Today I won’t go to your party because tomorrow is the deadline for submitting my term paper”, etc.
As you can see, the word is used not only in the professional vocabulary of office workers, but also in solving simple everyday issues.
Deadline is a dominant concept in any project management that deals with the development of strategic decisions for the creation of new products. This definition is responsible for setting the deadlines for the project, otherwise the slightest delay even for a minute is fraught with deprivation of bonuses, fines, etc.
The team is faced with the task of completing the project within the specified time, and all the people involved in its development are guided by it.
In business, a deadline can be urgent or milestone.
- In the first option, only a few days, or even hours, are allotted to complete the task.
- In the second case, the entire project is divided into several important stages, which are controlled by the manager during execution.
More about this is described in Thomas Demarco’s book on project management and business analytics.
Cons of time limit
Undoubtedly, the deadline has its drawbacks. They depend on the employer and the contractor himself.
- The first negative is stress, the most negative motivator. If the deadlines are missed due to their own fault, the person begins to get nervous. A few setbacks are stressful. And the systematic delay with reprimands turns into depression. Therefore, what he did well before will go out of hand badly.
- For the employer, the time limit threatens to waste time and money. This happens when incorrect deadlines are set, when the performer, even with maximum diligence, could not complete the task. There may, of course, be a mistake of the performer. But the customer, deprived of money, lost time, will reap the rewards.
This is where the cons end. If you control the setting of deadlines and the diligence of employees, then everyone can avoid delays. So a deadline is a necessary thing that allows you to control the workflow and intervene if something does not go according to plan.
Is it possible to increase sales with the help of a deadline?
Having understood the answer to the question “deadline, what is it”, we can confidently say that this concept is also applicable in trading. In commercial offers and offers, it is used to attract the attention of consumers to a particular product in order to increase sales.
This applies to promotional offers and discounts. Online and offline stores urge you to make a purchase, talking about promotions. If you do not have time to buy before the specified expiration date of the special offer, you will have to pay double. Or, for example, you can buy an information product with a 50% discount only after the presentation. And this strategy works!
The power of the organizing factor Deadline
Often the deadline strategy is used in sports. For example, in bodybuilding or athletics. To participate in the competition, you need to submit an application on time and pay a service fee. Or in football, after the end of the transfer period, the coaching staff is given only a month to conduct transactions for the resale and acquisition of players.
The same picture can be observed during the Hollywood Film Festival, where young directors are given a chance to prove themselves by creating a short film. Only here the deadlines for submitting an application with a copy of the work are limited. Everything depends on the deadline.
Whether it is an intermediate or final time frame, it is used by all people planning their goals. Only now they call it firmly the deadline. Although our cherished word borrowed from the Americans is also applicable here. Dates and times are respected even by those who do not have a direct supervisor or customer setting deadlines.
The deadline is used in all areas of human life, for example:
- doctors prescribe the timing of the operation, after which any intervention by the surgeon will not make sense;
- teachers give a certain number of days or hours to write a term paper, essay, presentation, answer exam questions, etc.;
- officials talk about certain deadlines for the implementation of the bill or the delivery of documents.
If the agreed time is ignored, then all the work will be done in vain. And this is quite logical. If a passenger who bought a ticket for 12:00 is late and arrives at the station at 12:05, then no one is to blame. We’ll have to wait for the next one, because the train just left on schedule. It remains only to blame yourself for lack of assembly, irresponsibility, lack of punctuality, while experiencing considerable stress.
And such emotional discomfort is experienced by everyone who does not know how to properly manage their time, organize work productively, ignoring the deadline. If all logisticians and airport dispatchers worked without set deadlines, then this could turn into a mess at least, a disaster at the most.
Where do deadlines apply?
Deadlines apply to all areas of life. Even a simple work schedule can be applied to this term. If an employee needs to arrive by 9 o’clock, then he should leave the house in advance, taking into account the mode of public transport, traffic jams, in order to be in time for work.
Or you decide to buy an apartment in a new building, and the construction is not yet completed. The contract specifies the deadlines for the completion of the project. This deadline must not be broken either. But most often this concept is used in other areas:
- Advertising and marketing, we have already considered this example, talking about discounts and the last days of promotions.
- Legislation, this applies to fines, utility bills, the statute of limitations, etc.
- Journalism, here everything is somewhat tougher, if you do not fit into the framework, then the entire company bears the losses. For example, a magazine should appear on store shelves at 9:00 on Monday, which means that it is handed over to the editorial office before Saturday, to the print publisher until Sunday.
- Contests, all of them are held at a certain time. In this case, the work is accepted a few days before the start of the competition. This allows you to weed out in time those who do not want to make efforts to get the main prize.
You can not ignore and freelancing. This is where the deadlines are the toughest. Especially if this is not a simple exchange cooperation, but an official one with the conclusion of contracts. In this case, you will not get off with a violation of your reputation, everything threatens with considerable fines.
What causes deadline violations
Deadline violations are often due to personal reasons. And they can be very diverse. For example, illness, unwillingness to do it ahead of time, laziness and much more.
By understanding the reasons, you can understand how to meet deadlines when solving work issues or implementing urgent projects.
According to the expert opinion of Richard Boyatzis, a lot of time stress closes a person to find ways to solve problems. Will show outside the box thinking with such situations is virtually unrealistic.
We find ourselves unable to offer even ordinary ideas. But it’s also impossible to talk about the dangers of the deadline. It is enough to learn how to cope with such situations, given some features.
How time trouble deprives us of adequacy
Interesting ideas and unusual ideas overtake us by surprise and often not on schedule. It is logical that even a team of the greatest minds will not be able to meet the two-hour deadline when creating an amazing marketing campaign.
Teresa Amabile (a professor at the Harvard Business School) recently made an interesting observation by analyzing people’s moods, the quality of work, and other factors. Despite the time constraints, people who submit non-creative projects on a tight deadline feel they are doing quite well, demonstrating their maximum creative energy.
It may seem to you that you have shown the height of fantasy and creativity, while actually offering banality and mediocrity.
Deadline – Concentration Assistant
The use of tight deadlines puts pressure on performers. The brain, which is in search of new ideas, concentrates on a certain idea and begins to be creative in this direction. Thus, all irrelevant ideas fall away. We can confidently say that deadlines help to put things in order in thoughts and deeds.
For example, on a psychological level, you agree with yourself that a laptop that needs to be replaced can still work. The deadline allows you to set the right accents, omitting some disturbing little things.
You also need to understand that creativity is not what matters in some cases. For example, if you are a sports reporter, you urgently need to give readers information about the outcome of the match. They are waiting only for this, and not for creativity and creativity.
If you want to do everything on time, you can set your own deadline for work. This will allow you to focus on the task at hand, forgetting about external factors. For example, you need to write an article by 18:00, you have 3 hours left to complete.
You can break the whole project into parts by the hour, setting clear boundaries on how many characters should be written in 60 minutes. This will allow you to quickly cope with the task and do everything on time.
It is worth noting that some people find it much easier to work under deadlines. For example, reporters. They know perfectly well by what time it is necessary to publish the news, so they always meet the deadlines. Others, on the contrary, require ruthless control. The deadline becomes an effective tool for this.
What is terrible deadline for tomorrow
Completing a project on time is a law for any freelancer, manager, marketer. A rigidly limited time interval is a highly effective planning tool that allows you to cultivate discipline in yourself.
Despite this, a quarter of office workers or freelancers are chronic procrastinators. They feed their employers or customers breakfast, push back deadlines, talk about the task later.
Undoubtedly, there are people for whom the urgent deadlines for the implementation of the project are the best kick for quick work, such conditions are acceptable for them, from the implementation of the task in a few hours they get tremendous pleasure and a considerable dose of adrenaline. But often for procrastinators, this is in the order of things – a delay. Such people have characteristic habits:
- pay bills on the last day or even hour;
- buy gifts for the new year on December 31;
- submit quarterly reports at the last minute, moving the deadlines from day to day;
- going to work in a hurry because they get up late, etc.
To make up for lost time, procrastinators begin to work hard in a stressful mode, and there can be no talk of the quality of work. They go to the store, but they constantly look at the clock.
For the normal conduct of business, psychologists recommend that tomorrow’s people keep a diary. Schedule the day by the hour and minute, following the plan – all this will allow you to avoid haste in deadlines.
If you are an avid procrastinator, then setting up reminders, keeping a calendar in Yandex will help you to keep up with the deadline. For yourself, you need to set clear time limits, not losing sight of the little things. Then you won’t have to complain about forgetfulness or a short day.
Is it possible to learn to do everything on time
In business slang, phrases called "Runglish" are often used. In one sentence, office workers skillfully combine English and current words. Such expressions should include “fake the deadline”, which means that the delivery of the order is later than the set time. The reason for this is impunity, because punishment does not always follow a “crime”. The management just puts everything on the brakes. But everyone can learn to do everything on time.
There are three effective ways:
- taking responsibility;
- objective assessment of abilities;
Let’s take a closer look at each of the ways in order to learn how to manage to make orders, tasks, work, projects by the deadline.
We take responsibility
This option is relevant if you work in a team, where each employee is given their own task and obligations that affect the overall result. If the project is large, then you need to divide it into mini-deadlines with intermediate deadlines and further recording of achievements.
Small deadlines are a tool to control the process and spur yourself to action. It is noteworthy that such a method is good even for those most unfortunate procrastinators.
People are beginning to realize that not completing a task by the deadline hurts their own reputation and the entire team. Colleagues have to strain doubly, but they will receive praise in the same amount. And you will only be responsible for the delay.
Objective assessment of opportunities
We often overestimate ourselves, which leads to missed deadlines. To understand the amount of time allotted for the process, you need to logically calculate in your mind whether it is realistic to create and implement the project by the deadline.
For example, fulfill a sales plan, take an interview, write a note, a book, etc. Knowing your speed of work, you can easily understand whether the allotted time is enough to the nearest second to complete the task.
For the sake of interest, you can experiment to see how the calculations match the real actions. Of course, you can try and make it on time. But it’s better to immediately agree on the deadlines with the customer or the manager, asking for a few more hours, days, leaving time to check the quality and correct the shortcomings.
We resort to redline
The redline precedes the deadline. Translated from English, this word means "red line". The term is often used by businessmen who want to eliminate risks.
A preliminary project delivery date is set for internal verification of readiness. After that, the project is sent for revision and error correction with the final delivery within the already established deadline.
In this case, the risk of letting the team, the customer, the boss, and even oneself down is minimal.
Rules for not breaking deadlines
Although you will know what factors contribute to meeting deadlines that justify tomorrow, breaking deadlines hurts your reputation and makes your colleagues uncomfortable. You can learn how to deal with the habit of delay if you follow simple rules:
- Acceptance of the fact that you cannot do more than one thing at a time. You need to constantly work on yourself, not overestimating your own capabilities, considering yourself a highly professional specialist.
- Preliminary calculation of time to complete the task. Track your own time, learn to understand how many hours or days you usually spend on a similar project. Initially, lay this time on time with a small margin.
- Honest disassembly with personal reasons for the failure of deadlines. Sometimes it develops into a chronic "disease". It can be cured by identifying the causes. For example, you deny the existence of a problem, are constantly busy with other things. Or you take on tasks that are impossible for you, get easily distracted, constantly break promises.
- Starting work immediately after taking the project. There is no need to delay this process. Even if you leave the part for later, the main part will already be done. Do basic research, prepare files, make notes for yourself that will form the basis of the work. If the tasks are completely small, then take on them immediately, handing over the previously set deadline.
By sticking to these simple rules, you will be able to understand that the deadline is not such a terrible word for those who work with projects. After all, the deadline, what is it in simple words? It’s a tool to make you work harder, with nice rewards in return if you get the job done by the deadline.