A couple, who are friends of mine (at least until they read this), had great difficulty deciding on names for their three children. That’s not usually a problem of any particular consequence, but it.
A couple, who are friends of mine (at least until they read this), had great difficulty deciding on names for their three children. That’s not usually a problem of any particular consequence, but it is in Austria, where their three children were born. Under Austrian law, parents must name their newborn child by noon of the fifth day following birth. Otherwise, the child is assigned a generic first name, and the parents need to go through a long legal process to change it.
With all three of their children, my friends waited until the fifth day before deciding on a name and filing the necessary legal papers. In the case of one child, they filed the name a few minutes before the stroke of noon. Why did this happen? In each case, my friends knew almost nine months in advance that they were going to have a baby, and in two of the three cases they had known the baby’s sex for months. Had there been no legal deadline for making a decision, I wonder if my friends might still have three nameless children. On the other hand, it’s possible that the deadline contributed to my friends’ indecision. Perhaps their anxiety over the deadline distracted them from concentrating on the task at hand.
If decision deadlines cause you anxieties, or even lead to mental blocks, it’s time to change your relationship with them. Deadlines are not our opponents. They can be good masters, and even better servants. Either way, they’re on our side. They’re trying to help us to accomplish more and get more out of life. Meeting deadlines with some room to spare is a wonderful way to reduce stress. That is why I think deadlines are friends worth cultivating.
Decision deadlines are often imposed from the external world, as was the case for my Austrian friends. To get the most out of decision deadlines, however, try creating some for yourself. Self-imposed deadlines have served me well in making decisions over the years. Sometimes, I set a deadline for making an important decision or taking an important action, but then I give myself an extension. On rare occasions, I’ve given myself two or even three extensions, but I’ve actually come to enjoy meeting my own decision deadlines.
Published in: Family