Long Live Deadlines

5 reasons you should learn to cherish a good deadline.


Yes, we work in a creative field. And yes, we like all that comes with that creativity—a hip work space, a bit of fun and intellectual stimulation, and friends who think what you do sounds cool and exciting. All of that is true, don’t get us wrong, but it’s still a job, and without deadlines the work doesn’t get done and the bills don’t get paid.

No matter what your field, you have to set some parameters and dates for deliverables. Here are our top five reasons why deadlines are crucial to business success, no matter the industry:

  • Expectations. No deadlines, mean no set expectations. Your client or customer needs to know that they can trust you will deliver on the product or job you have promised them. Set a deadline, get the work done on time and you will earn their goodwill, and hopefully more work in the future.
  •  Value. Time is money. Miss a deadline, and the project’s whole schedule gets pushed back. For Ethos, that could mean a missed print date, a conference that doesn’t have appropriate graphics or signage at the start, or many other issues. Everyone has a lot on their plate at work, missing a deadline gives the impression that you think your coworker’s or client’s time isn’t as valuable as yours.
  • Synchronization. Few projects are run with only one person working on them. At Ethos, most work involves an editor writing and proofing the words, while an art director creates the layout those words go in. If you miss a deadline, the person you are working with can’t do their job. Then it’s confusion, next stop anarchy. Well, maybe not anarchy, but you see what we mean.
  • Progress. Want to know where a project stands? Deadlines can help with that. Sure, you may have to shift things along the way—it is ok to change a deadline if something comes up—but without a deadline, you may not realize that your project has hit a snag.
  • Conversation. Finally, a deadline helps foster collaboration and conversation between the people involved on the project. You have to talk to each other to kick things off and to ensure that everything is progressing as it should.