How to handle the need for instant gratification

Do it now

If you’re in an eligible zip code, you can get Amazon deliveries within just hours.

Pretty amazing when you need cough medicine and can’t leave the house.

But slightly less amazing when you realize it’s affecting the way we all want things immediately. If, as humans, we had the ability to wait patiently, we are definitely losing it!

Sure, most of us grew up with pizza delivery, but things have seriously changed in the last decade. Instant gratification is becoming a way of life as technology evolves. Order Starbucks and have it waiting for you. Deposit checks in a split-second from home. Buy a car without having to leave your couch. Boom. Bam. Bang.

How does instant gratification affect us as service providers?

I see a major difference in the expectations of clients today from clients 10 years ago. Especially those regarding timing and the need for instant gratification.

As a WordPress designer and developer, I’m usually the last person to work on—what can be—a very lengthy process. If all was done correctly, the client has already gone through strategy, content, SEO, (and possibly design) before they even get to me.

And maybe the first part of the project took longer than expected. Maybe they’re already over their deadline and the sense of urgency is growing.

Of course they are excited to get their website up. But realistically, putting the squeeze on me doesn’t help.

Here’s what I know:

  • We can’t rush or skimp on the development part of a website.
  • Creativity is harder when people are being impatient and breathing down your neck.
  • The wait will be worth it!
  • Quality takes time.
  • Education and extra communication is becoming more important than ever.
  • Sometimes I don’t know exactly how long it will take. I try to be as clear as possible and provide timeline ranges (for example: most projects like this take 6–8 weeks), but there are lots of variables.
  • Unfortunately because I’m optimistic, I sometimes think things will take less time than they actually take.
  • We need to remember to be patient with humans, because ultimately, people aren’t Amazon Prime!

So how do we deal? How do we provide great service and still keep clients happy in this new world? I’m still trying to figure it out.

How are you dealing with these societal expectations of instant gratification? How do you handle the fact that nobody waits anymore?

Resources to help you set and enforce boundaries

If you also need time to do your best work, then you need to have strong boundaries. This is one of the things I’ve worked on with my marketing mentor, Ilise Benun, over the years. Here are some resources from her blog:

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About Jill Anderson

Hi, I’m Jill, a WordPress WordPress designer/developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative WordPress websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. Get my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers, and check out my Client Onboarding Toolkit, a simple 4-step digital course for converting prospects into a paying clients.


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3 thoughts on “How to handle the need for instant gratification

  1. Great topic! My branding process also takes forever. I am constantly thinking about how I can get clients to feel like their work is being done. For me, it has helped to update clients every two weeks and tell them about what I have been working on. I don’t show them anything, but I think being consistent with communication makes them feel like they aren’t forgotten and that I am working on their project. Do you have anything similar in place to make clients feel at ease without showing them anything?

    1. I love that concept of checking in with status updates without showing anything specific. Clients don’t realize the additional time it takes to show mock-ups and proofs. Time better spent actually working ON the project.

      1. That is such a great idea to check-in even when the work/revision/etc. isn’t ready. Like, “I haven’t forgotten about you dear, dear client.” I should put this into practice more, for sure!

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