Deadlines, Timelines & Processes

by Jill Sockman

I got some good advice a while back about timelines.  And I am not talking about work deadlines where others are relying on you to complete one part of a whole, but rather the self-imposed “I should be X by Y date/time/age.”

The advice was this: if YOU are the one making the timeline, then be sure you aren’t using it as a measuring stick to determine your worth as a human being.  Whether it’s sending out a newsletter, getting out of an unhealthy job situation, breaking or creating a habit — really anything that elicits the “I should be xxxxx by now” followed by feelings of remorse, regret, abject failure, whatever. Don’t use your self-imposed timeline to be a(nother) way to critically assess where you are on your journey.

Not being where we’d like to be at any given time doesn’t mean we are bad, useless, a failure.  It means we are in a process, and a process is something that occurs over time.  And, as far as I know, that timeline is something over which we have little-to-no control. So go easy, take a breath, see where you are, and instead of looking at how far there is to go, perhaps look over your shoulder and smile at just how far you’ve come already.