If you really want to understand how the human race behaves take a trip to the Emperor Valley Zoo and watch the chimps and monkeys for one week. First you’ll see them doing their thing but soon enough you’ll begin to recognize the many traits they share with us such as:
Being as lazy as possible – as much as possible.
I was once exceedingly lazy and to be honest, I don’t think the need to be lazy ever totally leaves your body. We talk quite often about wanting to laze around doing nothing all day or having a “lazy day”. The thing is, once I entered the world of newspapers my life changed forever. I picked up on the one tactic that changed my business view forever:
In the newspaper industry: you just cannot be late. Missing a deadline means not being able to produce a daily paper on time, which means every single day of the week. You don’t have the luxury of skipping a day or asking for more time. Ads need to be placed by a certain time, or they don’t make the paper; specialty supplements take greater pains in planning especially if they are to accompany a daily paper as an insertion, usually days in advance.
Deadlines can be hateful little things to say the least but without them most projects go on and on, ad infinitum, with no end in sight. As inherently lazy creatures we need deadlines to be efficient.
In most businesses it’s acceptable to push back deadlines. So after all the money has been spent, paying the huge outside company to tell us what we already know (but didn’t have the time to conduct internally) and to suggest a certain course of action – we then play the deadline game – that of change – and quite never get around to doing ANYTHING!
Most books stay with the authors until their deaths as ideas are carried about and they ruminate on plots for years but never set a deadline for getting the chapters outlined, the chapters actually written and the book finally published.
Deadlines need to be a part of any business plan with no contingencies. Deadlines make promises realities. They form a full stop in this fantasy world of “tomorrow-land” that keeps us doing ballet (on our toes) and in line.
Committees are formed to “study” the problem, endless focus groups are created to “test” the problem, and reams of reports are written and shelved in an effort to “get at the problem.” All of this: BS!
The only way to attack a problem is to roll up your sleeves and get right to it. And please have a plan with a deadline for finishing it!
Yes…without a deadline, most newspapers would NEVER be produced so promise yourself to become a deadline setting monster and watch your business become successful at lightning speed.
What challenges have you had with getting things done? Would love to hear your comments!