Working without deadlines

I allow myself the luxury of not working on deadlines. In particular, I have no deadlines set by anybody else.

That doesn't mean I have no ambitions, or that I don't ship stuff. On the contrary, ask anyone I work with, I ship new stuff all the time.

Setting deadlines for your work is in many ways connected to goal-setting. I believe in working with systems rather than having specific goals. When you set a goal, you set yourself up for disappointment. An unmet goal is almost always a disappointment, and most goals are not met.

I use the same approach when working on client projects. Instead of defining a precise goal and a deadline, we decide on a budget (I bill a day or week rate) and a general vision for what we should achieve. The budget can be adjusted as we go along.

More often than not, it turns out that we couldn't envision before starting the project, what we managed to accomplish with the completed the work. And, the final product is always better than the original idea we had when we started.

Deadlines are not necessary, they only induce false hopes and negative feedback. Try liberating yourself from setting deadlines, and use the available resources to focus on doing great work.