Deadlines are apparently lines drawn around the prison where prisoners can get shot if they pass that line. That is probably the idea of that at work- pass the line and you are dead. Honestly I often wonder who really dies if you go pass the line (what is called “missing the deadline”, which sounds strange because you don’t want to be on that line if they’re going to start shooting there!)
There is another element of the idea that I wonder is transferrable. If you pass the deadline as a prisoner and you managed to not get shot, you’re free! You run as far as possible from the prison and you find a new life.
The danger of deadlines is that when we assign one to things we want to do or have to do, we kind of feel like we must do it. At least that’s what we think, but when we pass it and we don’t actually get shot, we start becoming too relaxed with ourselves. And putting a deadline to things stops us from questioning if that needs to be done at all in the grand scheme of things. It probably isn’t that effective as the one that keeps prisoners in prison. Besides, the prison has a lot of other mechanisms and the deadline is a last resort.
Rather than having deadlines, it’s better we make something really happen pass certain times. The work is no longer accepted, or no longer relevant, something else will no longer be honoured. When we think that way, we might be able to be focused on doing things that matters and for those people who can’t hold others accountable, they’ll think twice before expecting something from others.