When Deadlines Become Lifelines
“Someday is not a day of the week” – Unknown. I used to be a serial procrastinator and I didn’t even know it. I would use phrases like “Someday, I’ll do this.” Or “Someday, I’ll do that.” Or “One of these days…” I would smile when I said what I would do in the future. Feel all warm inside. Feel accomplished. But in reality, I had accomplished absolutely nothing. But at least I felt warm inside.
I’m an author. However, the “someday” behavior I previously exhibited was unconducive to my craft. I would work without deadlines because (Hey!) I’m the boss, and I’ll release that book when I’m good and ready. But when is that? What date and time is good and ready? I came to the realization that even though I am the boss, I have to push myself. I had to give myself deadlines.
Deadlines. We tend to shy away from that word. It’s a stressful word. The last thing we want to be is stressed, right? Wrong. Not wrong about being stressed. But wrong about deadlines being a stressful word. The term deadline is not a four letter word (literally and figuratively). It’s actually a good thing to put a date on it because you move away from the unattainable “someday.” For example, I started assigning hard and fast release dates for my novels. I noticed something interesting. Time I wasted before, I started putting to good use when I knew that that deadline was looming. I became more productive by putting a date on it. My work started coming to life in a timely fashion. So, I don’t know. I think we might need to change this term deadline into lifeline. Let me know what you think.