Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Embracing The Deadline

The Corporate world is all about deadlines. Whether you make them or fail to. They are the force behind what drives the day. They can give you a headache and cause you stress. There is the celebration when you make the targeted date . There is the procrastination when the deadline seems too far away to worry about. There is the triage performed when the deadline takes precedence over everything else that needs to get done.

Deadlines were one of the things I looked forward to not being faced with when I first left Corporate America. Especially those imposed upon by someone outside of myself.

But I've learned to embrace the deadline. I've learned that deadlines give structure to the day. Deadlines give you focus. Deadlines put you on a schedule.

I admit to being a little lax in my deadlines when I first left the corporate world. I wanted to revel in all the unstructured time I now had before me. All that time assured me that I would get everything I wanted to accomplish with some to spare. Or so I thought.

Without deadlines, even if you are making them up, not much is going to get done. Time slips away. Without a due date, you live in the illusion that you have all the time in the world. What's worse is you are left with a feeling you accomplished nothing.

There is something gratifying about checking off a goal list. Accomplishment breeds more accomplishment. In my year plus of being an authorpreneur, I have learned that without deadlines no writing is accomplished. I have learned to take the headache and pressure out of a deadline and embrace it.

I have a deadline to get through my second draft of my novel in the next two weeks. Another was to get this blog out today. Hitting the publish button not only feels pretty gratifying, it gives me the impetus to get cracking on that draft. You see, I am looking forward to those deadlines in my future that are forced upon me by someone else, the ones that will be given to me by my editor. But that won't happen until I check off my self imposed ones.

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