Lesson 007: Motivating with deadlines
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 6/12 ('Ship in a Bottle')


While holding the Enterprise hostage and powerless to move, the fictional character Moriarty, from the Sherlock Holmes novels, tells Riker to resolve the technical problem of transferring a hologram image from the Holodeck into the Riker's real-world.

To add to Riker's dilemma, the Enterprise is within close proximity of two planets that are in the process of collapsing into each other, the gravitational forces of which will clearly destroy the Enterprise at its current distance.

Moriarty uses the impending doom scenario of the collapsing planets to strengthen his negotiating position with Riker by stating that deadlines have a wonderful way of motivating.


What a great statement! As much as we all may dislike deadlines in our assignments, they are absolutely necessary and they should be looked upon as our guide and not an evil.

True, sometimes deadlines can be miscalculated or misrepresented; however, when they are set correctly, they do allow for the natural progress of work, the proper alignment of resources, and the planning of future projects.

Compared to our job related work assignments, how would we rate our work around our home?

Without any firm deadline, do we not always procrastinate over cleaning out the garage, fixing the broken item, painting that one room, or even, getting around to reading that one book?

Hopefully we don't need the world coming to an end, akin to Riker's situation, to motivate us to getting things done by a deadline.

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