I think deadlines are the one thing every adult alive has in common with each other. At some point or another, we have to deal with them. Some of us embrace our deadlines. Others run away, find a corner, and curl into a little ball, weeping at its approach, all the while fearing the consequences of missing it. Some of us sit off to the side, watching it zip by our heads, joining the pile of other missed deadlines, numb to the fact that yet another one has flown by.
I deal with deadlines on a daily basis. When I’m not novel writing, I work as a freelance developmental editor. My clients expect me to get my work done so they can get their work done. Sometimes, all I want to do is run away from an encroaching deadline and weep. Most of the time, I stare it in the eye and face it with all of the determination I can muster. And yes, there are times I watch it zip by my head and shrug it off because there was just nothing I could do about it.
So, how do I deal with deadlines and stay sane? There are days where I’m convinced I don’t deal with them and stay sane. The simple truth is that once a deadline approaches, I have to sometimes go to extreme measures to get it done. Sanity is optional. So is sleep. Sometimes, so is eating. When it takes a certain amount of time to get things done, that amount of time isn’t going to change just because the deadline approaches.
Procrastination is not your friend.
The first tip to succeeding at deadlines is to learn not to procrastinate. It won’t help you. Spending an hour a day on a project is much easier than trying to cram 20 hours of work in a 24 hour day. I’ve done days like that, and they’re hard. They hurt. They can often be avoided. If I goof off instead of work, I only have myself to blame when the deadline comes up and I’m running out of precious time.
Procrastination is a habit, and it is one that can be beaten. But, if you have to procrastinate, do things that are useful. You aren’t writing? Clean your house. Don’t want to clean your house? Well, consider writing instead. I’ve beaten many a deadline by procrastinating on other projects. It’s a vicious circle of productivity if you learn to harness procrastination as a benefit instead of a disadvantage.
Plan your Time
Planning your time is a great way to avoid the worst of the edge of a deadline. The longer the deadline, the more the buffer you should give yourself. If you have a project you anticipate taking you three months, plan your time to finish three weeks early. That should give you enough time to address any of the problems and hiccups that will happen in a project of that scale.
I recommend a week of buffer time for every month of time you’re investing in a project. Then, if you need a day off, you can take one.
Understand your Limitations
We all have limitations. Some of us can’t work more than an hour or two on a project at a time. Some of us like working one long day a week on a project. Understand how you work best, and understand your limitations. That way, when you’re planning your time and estimating the project, you can be realistic about how you’ll accomplish it.
Rise to the Challenge
When you go into a project, have the attitude of being challenged. Have an attitude that lets you strive to do better and reach your deadline. Have the attitude that you want to accomplish your goal. Some people say mind over matter is a cliché, but it really does make a huge difference. Your perception of your deadlines makes a big difference on your ability to accomplish your goals.
Have a Little Fun with it
The last thing I’ll leave you with is the idea that accomplishing goals and meeting deadlines can be fun and rewarding. Find a friend who will challenge you. Find a friend who also has deadlines to cope with. Tie your deadlines to a small reward, be it a handcrafted present or a prized journal. Sure, it’s a reward system, but when you and your friends do it together, it’s a lot of fun, too.
One of my friends bribes me with a journal if I have a particularly crazy month full of deadlines. If I accomplish everything I need to do, I get a reward. There is that little extra of a reward at the end of it, which makes me work harder to get it done.
Have fun with your work whenever you can. It makes beating deadlines a lot easier.
Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.
When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.
But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG - 13
More details about the author