The Dreadline

The dreaded deadline (or dreadline, as I like to call it in my head then laugh at myself in my head because I’m cool) has a bad reputation. Too often it’s last minute, down to the wire, and demands an unreasonably short amount of time to accomplish the task, especially if you want to do it right.


“I like them. I think they make me look sexy.”

Creatives in advertising know this all too well. We like to mumble and grumble when a job with a deadline that’s tighter than skinny jeans on Danny Devito lands on our desk. We’d prefer to take our time on the project, immerse ourselves in it, and explore all the avenues, with ample time to check Twitter and watch cat gifs for “inspiration”. Of course this isn’t always realistic. A tight deadline may seem like it restricts creativity, but I’d argue that it can have the opposite effect, and help it flourish.

Orson Welles said, “The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.” Sometimes restriction breeds creativity. When you have restrictions, you’re forced you to overcome them. And how do you overcome them? Well, you gotta get creative. In the case with deadlines, when you’re granted with a lot of time on a project, it’s easy to get wrapped up in exploring every possible avenue without choosing a direction. But a tight deadline forces you to pick a direction and move forward.

Tight deadlines are going to elbow their way to our desks no matter what; it’s just the way the world works; so we might as well embrace them. And by just changing our attitudes about them and having confidence in ourselves, it will make a world of a difference in our work.

– Andrew

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