Um, yeah, they only make the world go ’round.
Classic Julie Roads scenario:
- I get a new project.
- It’s due in 2 weeks.
- I tell myself that I’ll get it done early – how great that will be!
- I do everything else on my to-do list for the next two weeks.
- I bang out the finished project with moments to spare – fueled by adrenaline.
Now, before you get all ‘ooooh, she’s irresponsible and organizationally-disabled’ on me…it’s actually nothing of the sort. In some sick and twisted way, I think that my chemical make-up in this area is partially responsible for bringing me to copywriting in the first place. I love the thrill of the deadline.
Also…my inner muse just knows that the assignment isn’t due – I can not fool it, no matter what I do. I’ve been this way since high school: give me 4 weeks to write a paper, I’ll take 4 weeks; give me 1 hour, I’ll take 1 hour – same paper, same result, no kidding.
So imagine my chagrin when one of my lovely clients hires me for a huge website re-write and, when I inquire about the deadline, he says, ‘no rush, whenever you can do it.’
Thankfully, I’m no fool. I told him that just wouldn’t do and that his project would get buried. I told him he had to give me a hard deadline. He laughed at me for a bit, and then gave me until Friday.
If I was Homer Simpson, I believe the correct response would be ‘Doh!’ But, I’m decidedly NOT Homer Simpson…so I’m off to work on this project and convince my muse that it’s due in 1 hour.
Some tips for dealing with deadlines:
- Make sure you have the ability to get the job done in the allotted time.
- Factor in some ‘who knows what might happen today’ leeway.
- Put all deadlines instantly into your calendar.
- Put milestones and/or reminders for the project every day (or every other day) from now to the deadline in order to keep the project on your radar and hopefully to chip away at the work. (If it’s a big project, you have no choice but to work progressively.)
- If you get blocked (or feel that you are cracking under the pressure) take a break and accomplish some easy tasks to set your ego back on track. You can do this, you are very smart and extraordinarily successful.
- Misery loves company. Isn’t this why Twitter was created? If you need someone to yell at you, “Get to Work!” or you just want to commiserate, Tweet about it…your followers are there to help you.
- Feed the beast! What’s your poison? Mine is popcorn with a lot of butter and sea salt, popped in coconut oil in my WhirlyPop (yes, exactly like that).
- Remember that you have always gotten it done…and you’ll do it this time too.