Lately, I decided to let go of a deadline. I had been working on a paper that was supposed to be turned in at the beginning of January.
Thinking about the looming deadline and the work I had done until now I wasn’t happy. I simply didn’t feel ready. Discussing the situation with my tutor I concluded that postponing was the best solution. I had already sensed that he had a similar impression and it turned out to be an easy decision to let go of the deadline as postponing is part of the available options. We also decided to continue working on the paper next year and to keep the tutoring relationship accessible. Which is a way to have someone else keep me accountable.
I probably could have changed my speed, worked more intensively on the project, and done whatever seemed possible to turn it in on time. I’ve already been through that process in the past, so I know it’s possible.
But that wasn’t my objective. I’m simply interested in the quality of the work I want to create and found it more interesting to invest myself in it. Naturally, there are some drawbacks to letting go of the deadline. But it would have been too easy to blame the deadline for the result.
It became clear to me, that what I didn’t want to do is let the deadline someone else defined be more important than what I want from myself.