Wanted: Deadline or Alive

Ravaging through the rough, grunting and seeking out the next victim....Scavenging anyone and anything that comes in the way...

No, we aren't describing the latest wildlife channel special about predatory beasts in the jungle.  We are referring to the angry, stressed, tense new entrepreneurs on a tight deadline.  At this stage in the startup journey, fresh-faced founders may get a little anxious, as the viability of their new startups is dependent on each deadline.  Sure, you could argue that it is just the passion coming through, but this attitude could cost a new entrepreneur his/her business.

If your actions are making your employees cower in fear of being the next stop in your slaughter trail, these are a few pointers to help you:

  1. Foundation
    • Ensure you have employees, partners and teammates you can trust and delegate to, without having to micromanage
    • Ensure there is a support system, including lifelines to rescue you as needed
    • Develop the infrastructure so that as deadlines come, you are not scrambling for administrative things like paper for the printer
  2. Expectation Management
    • Simplify all of your project lists with these tips and reminders
    • Count the proportion of the times you say "NO" to requests and the times you say "YES" and make sure it is skewed in the direction of "NO"!
  3. Cost/Benefit Analysis
    • Choose your battles wisely and select only the ones that are worth your time and energy. This is a resource that may help you quantify your time, to see if it is really worth pursuing all the deadlines on your plate.
Remember a calm mind is actually more productive than a harried, stressed and suffocated mind.  This article reminds us that staying calm, cool, and collected is highly correlated with better decisions. 

How do you handle deadlines? Do you have any other suggestions that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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