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July 27, 2023

Whatever happened to… deadlines?

To mark CityMag’s 10 year anniversary, the co-founder of the magazine and current Creative Director at kwpx Josh Fanning wonders (sic) through the streets of Adelaide trying to remember what happened.

whatever happened to deadlines
  • Josh Fanning filed this story right on deadline after running to the Malls Balls to snap this pic
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  • Words and Photo: Josh Fanning

Whatever happened to deadlines… having consequences?

Whatever happened to making a time to meet at the Malls Balls… and meeting at that time (give or take 15 minutes)?

Whatever happened to… the time?


This is a weekly column by CityMag founder Josh Fanning exploring how the city has changed – or hasn’t – since he started the city magazine 10 years ago.

Read the other articles in this series here.

I don’t know. But things have changed.

It’s August.”

It’s annoying when people do that though, isn’t it?

Because it’s not August. It’s July 27th.

But we round up the time… all the time.

OMG you guys, there’s only five months left of twenty-twenty-three!!!” someone’s going to post on social media … and cause my eye to twitch.

“There’s only an hour until my deadline for this article,” is what I’ve just realised. And I’m still not going to use an exclamation mark to sumarise.

Five months is eons.

Just look at what Elon Musk has been able to achieve at Twitter in that time. You can change the world in 10 months.

You can change a logo and a name overnight.

But procrastination is easier.

Aided by our devices and our connectivity with live, second-by-second updates, we can text our friends when we’re walking out the door at home (after the time we said we’d be there) to let them know “we’re running a bit late”.

And this is the polite thing to do… nowadays.

Do I have such a strong memory of meeting friends at the Malls Balls because of Flugelman’s shining commentary on society’s vanity – or do I have such a strong memory of Bert’s Balls because of the do-or-die-deadline I had to meet in order to prevent my friends from just… getting on with their lives without me?

The day, the hour, the minute – the plan – matters. A simple agreement shouldn’t be complicated by convenience. If we miss out, we miss out. We learn.

Now that we’re connected, we don’t need to keep promises.

Or maybe it’s that broken promises have been ameliorated over time to the point where promises are enough, and we never actually need (or expect) to see a result (hello politics).

But every time we procrastinate, we go into debt to the future.

Tomorrow I’ll start exercising more, start drinking less, see my parents more, see the office less, read a book, read the terms and conditions of the new digital service before I use it… start saving, and save the planet.

There’s nothing like a good old deadline.

Make one while you can and keep it. Get something done and out of your life whether it’s perfect (or not even proofread).

Because one day you’ll be dead and then there’ll be nothing else you can do.

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