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Why Tight Deadlines Make My Designs Better

Tight Deadlines Are A Part Of Life

Tight Deadlines Are a Part of Our Life

I just read an article about how deadlines crush creativity. It made me think of how I work, and I agree somewhat, but not totally with what Melissa Dahl had to say. There are a lot of designers out there that wish they had more open deadlines. Having a 3 day turnaround on a project puts a lot of pressure on you, which some people just can’t handle. It’s funny, because I’ve always been a bit of an oddball. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drummer. It’s the same in web design and graphic design, because tight deadlines seem to make my work much better.

Where I Disagree

In her article, Melissa talks about how deadlines negatively affect you, because you work better when you’re happy and calm. The thing is, deadlines don’t scare me, and never have. If left to my own devices, the work might never get finished. Also, I love what I do and I realize that deadlines are part of the job, and they come with the territory. I keep my cool under pressure, and I am happy doing what I do to put food on the table for my family.

Fear of deadlines is insane. The article talks about fear of if you miss those deadlines, which isn’t even an option for me. If you plan ahead and prioritize your projects, you have no excuse for missing a deadline. Time management is an important aspect of your job.

Where I Agree

I completely agree that if you’re in a bad mood, it can affect your work. If deadlines put you in a bad mood, this isn’t the career for you, because every project we do has a deadline at some point. However, if I am in a bad mood, whether it’s from dealing with a client who’s a jerk, or if you’re fighting with your spouse, or even if you’ve just had a bad day overall, it can have a huge impact on your creativity.

tight deadlines - options

Why I like Tight Deadlines

This gets a little personal, but when it comes to decision-making, I am a flip-flopper. Yes, it’s true, and I hate it. If I have the opportunity and the time to weigh something out, I’ll go back and forth on it, weighing the pros and cons all day. I’ll ask others what they think, compare and contrast with others, and then finally make a decision.

Why This Hurts Me

The problem with having all of this time to think it over is that I beat it to death. I’ll mull over it all day and all night. I’ll do all sorts of research, putting off my decision to the very last moment. The biggest problem with this is that it’s usually the wrong one. Why?

It’s mainly because I have taken my instincts out of the mix. Believe it or not, your instincts are there for a reason. You’ll usually get better results if you go with a gut feeling. Also, it’s not such a blow to your pride and your ego, if you made a decision based more on your gut than anything else.

Why Tight Deadlines Help Me

Tight deadlines make me weigh out the pros and cons to a decision quickly, not basing my answer solely on the facts, but also on my instincts. This works out better, because most of us usually compare and think of the biggest, most important parts of our problems first. When we’re left too much time, we consider things that can be considered trivial, giving them more weight and importance than they might deserve.

Tight deadlines make me forget all of that. I have the pressure to take action, because I don’t have a choice otherwise. 9 times out of 10, my design solutions are better under pressure. I make quick decisions based on my expertise, considering the most important aspects, as well as factoring in my immediate instincts.

What about you?

Do you like tight deadlines? Do they crush your creativity, or do they push you to excel? I’d love to hear about how you work, and your methods for making decisions for your design solutions. Please leave your responses in the comments section below.

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