I stared at the screen.
Disbelief. Denial. Horror.
This was not happening.
I had spent weeks studying my textbooks, writing notes, planning what I would do for my assignments, doing the practicals, writing it all up, ensuring I had all the necessary points and had gone deep enough, cut it in half to satisfy the word count, annotated and scanned in some sheets for the appendix, put it all together, checked the format requirements, zipped the file, uploaded it into my portal of the university website, pressed submit…
Submitted late. This assignment will not be marked.
The deadline was midnight UK time, 2am here. I submitted it thirty seconds too late.
Despite my heartfelt pleas and the broken English on the doctor’s note I submitted to explain how I’d been feeling ill lately, I received a 0 on that assignment. That brought down my score on that module to a low Grade 2.
There’s a reason why a deadline has the word ‘dead’ in it. Prisoners in the American civil war were held in by physical lines, and they would be shot dead if they crossed them. (Yes, I actually looked it up. Etymology is fascinating.)
In your business, do your best to meet deadlines. And if you won’t meet it – either hire someone to help so you will, or let your client (or employer, if you also have a job) know as soon as possible that you’ll need to push back the deadline by a little while. And don’t push it back twice! A third time and they’ll go to someone else.
Don’t let those deadlines murder your business.