I've lived most of my life under deadlines. Many I set for myself; others are just part of life -- work projects, taxes, paying bills. Some are healthy because they keep you on track. Others are not because they make you feel stressed. A writer is always under a deadline. So is a sales person who must make a quota. Students have to submit their papers by a certain deadline; teachers have to grade them by a specific date. Most of us live under some type of pressure to meet a deadline.
While deadlines are beneficial for accomplishing things we set out to do and creating discipline, I think too many with too much pressure in too little time can be detrimental to one's health. After all they are "dead" lines.
I'd hate for anyone's obituary to read, "She died from self-inflicted deadlines that sapped the life out of her." Or how about, "She met all her deadlines but missed out on enjoying her life."
Did you know that 51 percent of women are likely to be more stressed out than 43 percent of men?
What we all need are fewer deadlines to plow through and more lifelines to help pull you through. It could be a spouse, family member or friend. At work it could be a trusted partner, colleague or assistant to support you. You could have one or many. I have friends who are lifelines who have help me make better decisions and prevented me from making bad ones. If you have a friend facing a difficult time, be her lifeline. It could mean providing any kind of support: emotional, financial, work, mentoring, sharing your wisdom or some laughs together to cheer her up
All of us can be lifelines for someone. And many of us could take a lesson or two on learning when and how to reach out for a lifeline. I'tell my coaching clients all the time when discussing stress management, "It's not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It's a sign of strength. Sometimes you have to put your pride aside and admit you need some help."
My friend, Wendy Diamond, an activist for supporting women and Founder of Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED) told me this. "Give someone a hand up, not a hand out." Maybe you are the rope that can help keep someone afloat as they navigate uncharted or challenging waters and need to time to steady themselves.
Imagine your life with fewer deadlines? How would you spend that precious time?