The other day I stumbled on this quote from Leonard Bernstein…
I’m a huge believer in super tight deadlines. The longer something takes the less likely anything meaningful will happen. It drives others around me crazy at times. But over my years of experience, I’ve seen this truth played out again and again.
Here’s why crazy tight deadlines work:
1. Crazy tight deadlines force us to think differently.
They force people to jump in and “start dancing” quickly. They force us to think out loud and put ideas on a wall. They create a certain energy in the room.
2. Crazy tight deadlines force us to ignore the negative voices in our head.
And that’s a good thing. With enough time, we’ll often start listening to the voices that say, “That will never happen because of _____.” “We don’t have enough money or knowledge yet.” Or worse yet, “We’re not smart enough to do this.”
3. Deadlines that are a bit ridiculous give us less time to talk ourselves out of our best ideas.
You know this is truth. How many times have you seen time water down or completely erase a big idea?
4. Crazy tight deadlines force us to quickly outline the steps we need to make something happen.
Meetings are shorter when the deadline is shorter.
5. Crazy tight deadlines force us to get super honest about who is critical to the process.
Teams are tighter and leaner. We assign people tasks based on their true strengths.