Posts Tagged: timeline

Oct 11

Timeline or Deadline? (reprise)


In the last blog entry I started looking at the difference between a Timeline and Deadline.

Side Note: If you happened to miss the last entry I would encourage you to take a look at it before you read on.

Today’s entry will make much more sense if you do… but then again, maybe not.  I can be pretty obtuse if I set my mind to it.


What started for me as an interesting dissection of two words has turned out to be a fascinating discovery of introspection and word origins.

In the last entry I mentioned that “these words symbolize more than just business or life tools.  The words denote and characterize a philosophy of life also.”

Let’s take a deeper dive into the word Deadline.

I ran across a wonderfully creative video about deadlines.  This is all done with small Post-it Notes.  Take a look.

YouTube Preview Image


The video was a fun look at deadlines.

Deadlines… wow.  We are all bombarded with deadlines.  They motivate, sometimes paralyze, and always produce some level of stress.

Deadlines are imposed as an impetus for action.

We throw the term deadline around pretty casually.  In fact, in the purest sense, most deadlines are not really deadlines… they are just goals with a set time for accomplishment.

Here is a dictionary definition for deadline.

2 : a date or time before which something must be done

Did you notice the # 2 in front of the definition?  This is the secondary definition that reflects only society’s current usage, not the original meaning.

When I discovered the primary meaning it TOTALLY changed my perception and mindset regarding deadlines.

Instead of being used as a point to stimulate action… it was used as a caution before action.  The usage meant that the stakes were so high it in reality was a point of destiny not simple inconvenience or consequences.

The original definition is as follows:

1: a line drawn within or around a prison that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot.

A deadline, is truly a line of death.

A true deadline is the point of no second chances.  It is the line, if missed, the project or opportunity is gone, dead.

There is no question that there are some legitimate deadlines in business and life.

If you think about it, most so called deadlines we face have some float or room for adjustment.

We have tossed it around so much that the casual use of the term has rendered it impotent of its original power and impact.

You want to know how casually we use deadlines?   Take a look at this e-card I found that you can send.



Side Note: I know, I know… the bullshit term bothered some of you.  I don’t like using it either but it sure nailed my point.

Hell, you would of used it too.  (sorry… I just had to do that)

I don’t know about you but I will be much more careful how I position a simple goal or milestone vs. a legitimate deadline.

Ciao, see you Thursday.

Oct 11

Deadline or Timeline?


I don’t know about you but the title of the blog is intriguing to me.

On the surface the words look pretty straightforward.  But in true Jerry Rushing fashion I will most likely over complicate these simple words.

Just so you know, complicating things is not my intent… it just happens.  My mind works weird at times.

Sometimes I will see common words or phrases and (who knows why) they will strike me on a different level.  I pause, tilt my head and go humm?

Yes, I know… I probably get a little too caught up in the subtle meaning of words and phrases.  But it’s the way I’m wired.

There is no question these two words have distinct definitions.  And there is a definite need for both in any successful business or life.

But what struck me is that these words symbolize more than just business or life tools.  The words denote and characterize a philosophy of life also.

Think about it.

People tend to live their life in one direction or another.  Their temperament and mindset seem to fit more naturally in one arena.

This in no way means that people who tend to lean in the timeline direction never has deadlines… nor visa versa.

I just mean that we lean in one direction or the other and there are plusses and minuses to each.

Let’s take a closer look at the two.

I know that I cannot do these terms justice as it relates to a life philosophy.  Also, fair warning, I will most likely (but not intentionally) have my personal biases seep in.

At the very least, I hope I will stir your thinking enough to cause you pause.

Side Note: Anything that causes you to pause is an amazing gift.  The pause to consider… a new thought… a different viewpoint to consider.


One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes




Dictionary Definition

1. a table listing important events for successive years within a particular historical period

2. a schedule of events and procedures

To me, timeline is seeing things more as a process than an event.  A single activity is seen in light of the larger, long-term framework.  Context is paramount.

A timeline is used to look backward to see trends and broader meaning.  It is used in forward motion as a series of events to attain a long-term goal.

Personally I tend to fall in the timeline camp.

I like context, patterns, and the big picture.  I see life as a flow and process vs. isolated events.

But… Yes there’s a big BUT.

But there is a dark side to timeline thinking.

If not careful, the sense of urgency slowly evaporates.  The process takes a life of its own and it is very easy to let dates and activities float.

You let this happen long enough, eventually we find ourselves left in the dust of progress.

Monday I will take a close look at deadlines.  I discovered something about deadlines that was absolutely fascinating.