Deadlines are Rocket Fuel

Deadlines are Rocket FuelBrian Tracy refers to “The Law of Forced Efficiency.”

Parkinson’s Law states that “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

I think of it as The Deadline Effect.

The best illustration is what happens to our productivity the day or the week before holidays. It takes off!

I once went on holidays and read a book about this issue. I thought back to why I’d accomplished so much the week before:

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Sunk Costs

2002 F150
The Beast in It’s Natural Environment

My trusted pickup was feeling rather loose on the highway so I took it to my trusted shop. Turned out the front end was in rough shape. Along with some servicing, brakes and odds & ends it was just over $2000.

Two weeks later I pulled out from a lunch meeting and the transmission failed.

Rough estimates were $2000 for a used transmission installed, $3000 for a rebuilt and $4000 for brand new.

Now, I need to tell you that my trusted pickup (sometimes referred to as The Beast) is a 2002 Ford F150 with 370,000 km on it.

If I had been asked a month prior if I would rather spend $4k plus on repairs or put those same dollars toward a new(er) vehicle, I would have opted for the latter.

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Work Life Balance Question

strategic imbalanceIn a recent post I mentioned a how an email query about work/life balance turned into a discussion about success.

But back to the work/life balance question that started it: “Do you think people who are extremely successful have less work/life balance?”

I have a couple thoughts about this question.

First, some people who make it to the top in business either fail in, or choose not to prioritize, another area of life. Health and family are two common victims.

However, not all do this. In my observation, those who make it to the top and stay there for a long time tend to be taking good care of a broad spectrum of their lives.

“Sustainable Success” is a lot different and more difficult than momentary success.

Secondly, I am a believer in “strategic imbalance.”

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Fear-Driven Decision Making

Fear-Driven Decision Making“I have personally seen very successful businesses destroyed by their owners making a
sequence of fear-driven decisions. I have seen none destroyed by courage.” -Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a brilliant and very successful direct marketer, famous in both the offline and online marketing worlds. I had the privilege of seeing him live back in 1997 and I still have the notes. I’m currently reading yet another one of his books.

I think his observation applies to more than just business.

It’s not that fear-driven decisions will necessarily destroy your life, as in kill you. But they may well suck the joy out of your life. And the adventure. And the whole point.

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What is Success to You?

I once got an email that asked the question “Do you think people who are extremely successful have less work/life balance?”

I replied, “Define successful.”

The response focused in on net worth, which is certainly one form of success. And I suppose if we’re honest, money-related success seems to be the one that preoccupies us the most.

But few of us when pushed will define ultimate success in terms of dollars and sense.

What’s your best definition of success?

I have several on file:

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