Nobody likes a deadline, but they’re a necessary evil for getting things done. As Mythbusters host Adam Savage points out in a column for Wired, a deadline is often the absolute most important tool available to you.
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Without a deadline, we’re prone to putting everything off. We have too much time, and without a deadline we don’t solve the problem because we’re not forced to do it. Savage points out that deadlines are often what bring about the most innovative solutions:
Any cursory perusal of a fan/maker forum on the web reveals two distinct kinds of projects: the long, meandering, inconsistently updated but impressively detailed effort and the hell-bent-for-leather, tearing-toward-a-deadline build. Solutions to problems of the first type are often methodical and obvious. Solutions for the second type are much more likely to be innovative, elegant, and shockingly simple… Deadlines refine the mind. They remove variables like exotic materials and processes that take too long. The closer the deadline, the more likely you’ll start thinking waaay outside the box.
While preparation of any project is certainly going to help you, sometimes it’s best to just set a deadline and go. You might surprise yourself with the solutions you come up with. After all, if MacGyver had all the time in the world, his creativity would rarely have been tested.