There’s More to Life Than Meeting Deadlines — 008

Focus more on the process of doing the work rather than just getting it done.

Everyone has some kind of deadline set for them in life and they generally help to guide us to finish a set task within a particular time frame. I talk a little bit about deadlines in an earlier post and talk about where people rarely do more than the minimum and that fact contributes greatly to this post. Deadlines are sort of like when you first start skating and you don’t know how to stop, so you crash into the wall with all of your momentum; you get the desired result, but at the cost of some very unnecessary pain. Most people never do learn how to stop and procrastinate until the last day and complain that they hate assignments or that school isn’t interesting. Both of those could be valid points, but it seems like more often than not, people don’t enjoy assignments and school work because they never tap into the value that comes in doing the work. They do it to get it done simply because they’re told to and when you’re doing an assignment distributed three weeks ago on the last day possible, you don’t have a chance to tap into that value at all.

The value I’m referring to is the journey from point A to point B. If you’ve ever been to an amusement park, you know that they have those tickets that allow you to skip the line and ride immediately. Leaving work for the last day is like that; the sense of fulfillment is lower and it feels less engaging overall. You didn’t line up for those thirty minutes in the sun and so, you got the result you wanted and it was pretty good, but there’s a sense of emptiness. Doing the preparatory work is important. Planning is a key skill for the future that will never expire and it also adds more purpose and fulfillment to the end result. Seeing your plans and ideas come to fruition is an unbelievably satisfying experience and it breeds future planning off of that satisfaction. Shortcuts are nice, but that’s about it. They don’t teach you anything. Shortcuts are good for menial and monotonous tasks. School and the workplace offer you a lot of creative grounds to do close to anything you want within a few variables. There are going to be so many opportunities to be creative and achieve more than just the final result throughout life. Do something about that. People are handing out opportunities and most people leave them to the side and think that it’s not worth their time. How are you going to do what is “worth your time” exceptionally if you’ve never done anything that was beyond average?

Look around and see how many opportunities there are in life. Opportunity doesn’t have to be a big promotion or a new job, it can be a chance to further cultivate yourself. Sure, getting to the final result is a big part of the work, but what they don’t directly tell you is that the other 50% is the way there. It’s up to you to realize that and take advantage of it. There’s more to life than just meeting your deadlines if you want to be more than mediocre.

There’s More to Life (TMTL) is a project surrounding our perception of life and how at times we can be short sighted in seeing what it has to offer. TMTL will be a daily post based on suggestions from comments and personal conversations. Every day is accompanied by a picture I shoot and you can see those in full, here. Today’s TMTL was suggested by Natasha Serio, a former coworker of mine who is currently working on her own daily project which you can check out here. TMTL — 009 tomorrow for a slightly spicier Monday.