DEADLINE approaching? Here’s how to face it head-on by using every displacement activity possible until the final minute:
Deadlines are motivational and give you energy to complete a million other tasks instead. Why not reply to your backlog of emails? Change all your passwords to secure ones? Make sure all your files since 2015 are backed up? The more you can do in the opposite direction to the work you’re supposed to be doing, the less you’ll worry about it.
Deadlines are intimidating, which is why it’s always wise to put them off. Perhaps you could get on that presentation as soon as you have spoken to everyone else in the company to ‘get their input’? Even better, set aside some time for ‘wider research’. Make sure it’s open-ended.
Three reports that you have had six weeks to prepare are due tomorrow? Does anyone have irrefutable proof that you knew this, or can you delete all email chains and deny all knowledge? If colleagues question this, deny that you are in fact the person they believe you are. The perfect opportunity for a total personal and professional rebrand.
The closer the deadline, the greater the reward when you drop a colleague in the shit for failing to meet it. If you’d assumed Kevin would cross-check the sales results how is it your fault he hasn’t? When Kevin starts up on you blame the failure on something no one can be bothered to deal with, like a ‘toxic company culture’.
When pressure mounts and you feel overwhelmed by the stress of contending with projects that your boss insists are ‘literally the only reason I hired you’, there’s always running away. Whether you move company, city or continent it’s key to leave your deadlines unmet, your bridges burned and your LinkedIn endorsements firmly off.