5 reasons tight deadlines are a recipe for disaster

How would next weekend’s Sunday roast go down if you only cooked the chicken for twenty minutes?

You already know, don’t you?

The chicken would be close to raw. The meat would be pink and rubbery. Everyone would get food poisoning and you’d drop even further in your in-laws’ already quite low estimation of you.

In short, it would be a pretty silly, and rather dangerous thing to do. Because chickens take time – usually a good hour and a half – to fully cook through.

And just like cooking a chicken, creativity shouldn’t be rushed.

To do the best job, us writers, along with proofreaders, designers, developers, artists and other creative folk need time to do our thing.

Here are five reasons why not giving someone enough time to do a proper job is akin to giving uncle Derek a dodgy tummy…

1. Good work requires research

If you’re not giving creatives enough time to find out everything they can about your business, your offer, your market, your audience or your competitors, they’re missing out on all the insights that could spark a brilliant idea.

So load them up with information, and give them time to digest it all.

2. First ideas aren’t often the best idea

If you’ve ever forgotten to shake the ketchup bottle and sprayed ketchupy water all over your chips, you’ll know that the first stuff to come out isn’t always the best.

By giving someone ridiculous time constraints to come up with an idea, you’ll be getting their first thoughts down on paper. Their ketchup water.

Instead, give them time to shake the bottle. What comes out will have a lot more substance to it.

3. Good ideas need time to stew

The best work rarely happens at a desk. But with anything tighter than a 48-hour turnaround, that’s all you’ll be getting.

Many creatives have an initial brainstorm, and then walk away from the job, confident that their brain will come up with ideas at its own pace.

Some of our best thinking is done when we’re out running, smashing a tennis ball, or getting showered, or even in those moments just before going to sleep, where our brains just don’t want to switch off.

Without time, none of these can happen.

4. Great writing takes effort

Any writer can churn out 600 words of waffle in a couple of hours. But words that flow effortlessly, that make you smile and make you think don’t come quickly.

You need to give writers time to explore the rhymes, synonyms, alliterations, idioms and all the other wordplay that makes the words dance right off the page and into your brain like a sonata.

5. It’s gonna cost you

Need something ASAP? Chances are, we’ve already got plenty of other stuff booked in. So to fit you in, we’ll have to charge a rush fee.

Now think about this for a moment, you’d be paying more for creative work that’s not as good as it could possibly be with time.

Doesn’t make sense, does it? That’s why tight deadlines are lose-lose.

And that reminds us… it’s time to baste our juicy chicken that’s been slowly cooking and simmering away.