… it’s taken me a day to start writing this post…
… a whole day with that title sitting there on my screen above a blank page….
… Oh, the irony – it burns!
Of course, in that day I’ve done a whole heap else (including opening my Etsy shop), so my procrastination has been productive!
It’s still procrastination though…
Which brings me to our topic:
As you can see from the unintended case study above, discipline is not always an easy thing for me! The main tool I use to encourage my discipline (or at least it’s close friend, ‘focus’) is DEADLINES:
- Without some sort of deadline I’m fairly useless at getting on with stuff. Fluffing round thinking about it, now that I do very well!
- Even self-imposed deadlines help me. Better still if there’s some form of public accountability.
Case study #1: The Self-imposed Deadline
I announced that my Etsy shop would open on October 31 – so I spent October 30 putting the final touches to months of work to make sure it opened on time (two hours loading listings – aiiiiieeee!)
Without this self-proclaimed deadline, I would still be thinking about taking the photos – true fact!
Case study #2: The External Deadline
A year ago I committed to dance at a Community Bellydance Showcase this coming weekend. Because of that commitment I have practiced, arranged for our group to practice, organised my music, and basically thoroughly prepped (though there will be still more practice between now and Sunday).
As for the event I thought I might organise a year ago – it still hasn’t happened…
(BTW Sunday’s Showcase will be awesome – do come if you can!)
So, why do deadlines work for me?
I think there are multiple reasons, including:
- I take commitments seriously (“My word is my bond”)
- I don’t like to let people down (which does mean I am careful about what I commit to; otherwise, I’m in trouble – aka over-committed hell)
- I don’t want to be embarrassed by not keeping my word
- I do actually like to create (a fact that tends to escape me when I’m lying in bed trying to decide between novel-with-cuppa or dance training)
Of course, there is a risk that, if there are too many deadlines, I might crash and burn and stop enjoying my creating. I’ve learnt the hard way to manage this carefully.
So, how about you?
- Do deadlines help you achieve your goals? Or not?
- How do you avoid over-committed burn-out? Do you avoid it?!
- Are there other tools you use to trick your brain into productivity?
Let’s talk about this!