The Need for Deadlines

Posted on August 17th, 2005 @ 22:14
Filed Under Reflections | 3 Comments

I must be psychic somehow. I had been toying with this revelation for most of the day, slowly putting it into words, when, guess what, my RSS aggregator picked this post at To-Done. Well, it doesn’t matter: I still feel the need to write down all of this.Although it’s not as sudden an illumination as it could seem, when I started reading No Plot? No Problem! during what was left of my “lunch break”, I immediately felt in harmony with what the author, Christ Baty, was describing: the sheer need for deadlines, and, opposed to it, the tendency to procrastinate when we don’t have any. (Sidenote: the book is about writing a novel in one month—see NaNoWriMo for more details. The theory is that the busiest we are, the easiest it is to write like mad, because compared to the rest, writing time then feels like a treat. We’re more prone to just do it, instead of procrastinating.)That’s right, I’m of these people who need deadlines. I never perform my job as well as when I have a limited amount of time to do it. As stressing as they are, deadlines are what make me efficient, in most areas of my life. I don’t like them—to be honest, I hate them, they stress me to no end and even send me into panic fits at times when they’re made of a hundred little tasks rather than one or two big ones. However, the facts speak for themselves. I need them. I need my day to be compartimented. I need to get up in the morning and be able to tell myself “today, at work, I must do this, this, and that”. When I can’t have these thoughts, the day goes to waste almost immediately.I’m thus considering trying a little something: completely scheduling my day, from work itself to puny housework tasks, even though there aren’t any external circumstances that demand me to do so. It may seem weird, it may seem stupid, but I definitely need to focus more on my works as a writer, and if I keep on playing with my dog or cleaning the toilet instead of setting myself to write, I can’t have much done. Delaying is easy. Taking years to complete a novel is easy. The more time I have, the less I do. Setting myself to work with clear, timed goals: now this is harder, but also something that can and will work better for me.Weird, how easy and evident it all seems to me, now that it’s written here on my screen…Y Tags: |

Comments

3 Responses to “The Need for Deadlines”

  1. Lee Carlon on August 18th, 2005 1:02 am

    I find deadlines help me with my writing, through they are entirely self imposed, and I rarely get as much done as I would like, but usually more than I would without the deadlines.

  2. Christie on August 18th, 2005 5:55 pm

    Deadlines help- at least that’s what I’ve found.

  3. Yzabel on August 18th, 2005 10:27 pm

    Yes, self-imposed deadlines tend to be less efficient in my mind as well–after all, it’s not like we’re getting fired if we don’t make it in time, so there’s less incentive, so to say. It’s a good exercise in self-management, though, so it’s never a lost cause.

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