“I am one of those people who thrive on deadlines, nothing brings on inspiration more readily than desperation.” – Harry Shearer
There’s something about a deadline that snaps your brain to attention. The panic that sets in just as deadline hits often results in…results.
When you put a time constraint around designing, you work better, you work faster, you get things done. If a task is left open-ended, the task often doesn’t get completed.
The idea of deadline constraints to spur creativity and promote action is not new. It’s a common concept in the workplace, in education, even UX. For UX prototypers, setting a deadline of 15, or 50 minutes, helps frame the work. Creating self-imposed deadlines is the foundation of agile UX and design sprinting.
Whether you are thinking of specific ideas for new features, or brainstorming an approach to a brand new product; setting a deadline is key to generating ideas and moving forward.
Why set a deadline? Here’s 5 reasons:
- Keep things on track: Every project kick-off or client meeting should have an agenda and a timer.
- Focus: Frame the conversation, keep it directed to the task at hand.
- Be more productive: Team ideation meetings or personal idea brainstorms become more effective. Make ‘rat holes’ a thing of the past.
- Push yourselves: Deadlines encourage your team members to push themselves to quickly top their craft. Become masters of card sorting! Or post-it note jedis!
Reward yourselves after: The thing about deadlines? You get to breathe a sigh of relief after a hard hour’s work. Pat yourself on your back and get that afternoon coffee you deserve.
We love our Time Timers — a simple, large, and visual reminder — to keep time and keep us going.