Deadlines are a scourge. That’s how most of us view them. They are necessary evils that keep us on track. That’s the better way to view them. I advocate setting a deadline for yourself. I do that and I find them helpful. They give me a sense of structure and act as a spur to keep me going.
That said, I don’t always manage to stick to them. This blog, for example. I have a schedule of blogs. I wrote this one in April. I wrote it a week after it’s writing deadline. Oops. I’m not sure how I got a week behind, but I did. That’s OK. As long as I can meet the publication deadline, I’m fine. My system works for me. I have a writing deadline, a revision deadline and a publication deadline for each of these blogs. I write them in advance of the publication deadline so I have time to revise them. You get to read the revised version and believe me that’s the version you want to read.
I use deadlines because I am the queen of procrastinators. I can find good excuses to put off almost anything. I actually have to put my mind to doing the things I need to do. That’s how it works. At least, that’s how it works for me. It’s a way to overcome my own natural laziness. The series of deadlines keep me on track.
This is the beauty of the technique. I have a week to write each blog. I have another week to revise them. Then I schedule them to post on this site on the date I have chosen for each particular topic. Scheduling the blog topics is the easy part. Writing them when I need to is harder.
The writing deadline is a soft deadline because, well, life often gets in our way. The soft deadline is soft to allow for delays. The hard deadline is the one that is most important. Give yourself time to complete your tasks. This is true for any task you might need to compete. Got homework to do or a presentation to develop for work? Your teacher or boss expects it by a certain time. That’s the hard deadline. You are often given enough time to complete it, but if you are a procrastinator, like me, you need something more. That’s where the soft deadline shines. You can set yourself a soft deadline that forces you to do the work. That can mean the difference between a good and bad grade or help you keep on your boss’ good side.
As I have admitted, I’m a week late with this one. The hard deadline is the day this post goes live. I’ll make that one as I have built in the time to my system. That’s why that soft deadline is there. I have to finish this blog and the one you’ll see next week before the writing deadline of that next blog. I can do that. These blogs are short for a reason.