Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Here's the thing...


So the thing is… I have a deadline.  Well, to be clear, I have multiple deadlines because I’m in the midst of doing multiple things.  And of course, each thing has a deadline.

The big deadline is 3 months away, so you might say, “Well, hey, no sweat…3 months is a long time.”  But it’s really not.  It’s not at all.  3 months are going to fly by and before I know it, the deadline will approach.  The day will be here…knocking on my door.  “Your 3 months is up.  Over.  Kaput.  Where’s your project?  We’ve come to collect it.”

And this is not one of those things that you can quickly put together 2 or 3 days before the deadline.  Oh no…not at all.  I NEED these 3 months to accomplish what I need to accomplish.

But then I have other deadlines.  More immediate deadlines.  I have, what I call, my bread and butter deadlines. Daily deadlines that are my bread and butter.  Suddenly, I seem to have a lot more bread and butter deadlines than ever before.  Which is kind of a good thing, but at the same time they cannot be ignored because after all, they are my bread and butter.  So obviously, these immediate deadlines get my priority.  And after I have accomplished what I need to do for my bread and butter, I am absolutely exhausted, knocked out, depleted and I think about the looming deadline 3 months away.   And I think, “Well I have a little time for that one. Don’t I?”
But no.  I don’t have time.  Because now it’s the end of July, and August is already fully plotted out, and before I know it, September will be here and bring with it all that it will bring.  As October rolls around, the chaos may dissipate and some semblance of order may find its way into my life.  But then I will only have 1 month.  October.  And I cannot fully count on October being my friend and providing me with the time, focus and concentration I need to complete the BIG DEADLINE.

I have to find a way to make it work.  I have to.  There isn’t any alternative.  I am a writer.  And I write for my bread and butter and I write for the big deadlines, and I live in the chaos and I get it done.  I find a way.  I have to.  There is no room for discussion here.  I find a way. There is no other option but to do it.
Any suggestions???

11 comments:

Just Another Thought Online said...

I don't know how you currently do things and I'm assuming that you only write and have no other jobs.

I would schedule my day with time limits set for each project. 9am-12pm Big Deadline, 12-1pm lunch, 1-5pm bread and butter deadlines... you see where I'm going. Creating a schedule that you follow down to the minute will help you keep focused and make sure that you spend time on each project.

Bhavna said...

common dilemma

If I were you I would sort the "things to do" as per importance and urgency. I will also write the consequences if not finished compare it to other consequences. If you are talking about bread and butter which means you have a boss/senior involved you can let them know of your priorities sit and discuss may be you can get some help. Make a time table or a schedule of what to do when... it will help you

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SJ said...

I agree withe the other comments. It sounds like you could do with a budget for your time. You already know how much time you have, you just have to split that between the deadlines you have and stick to them as much as you can. It's easier when it's planned than when it's everywhere and it definitely looks a lot easier too :D Good luck with your deadlines.

brenda said...

I think time management is the toughest hurdle to overcome for any creative person. I have weeks of great productivity where I stick to my schedule but then I sort of fall apart..and get behind.. etc. it's always a challenge

MikeB said...

The other comments may or may not be helpful to you. You are the best judge of what needs to be done and when. The HOW is another story. I wish I had the answer. Just make sure to enjoy some play time once in a while to keep your sanity and come back to your writing refreshed and full of energy.

Savira Gupta said...

Deadlines.... Well what requires immediate attention? Begin from there and chart out how much time is needed... stay with a routine that works for you... complete 1/2 tasks simultaneously......

Healing Morning said...

I wrestle with this issue also, as I freelance & work mostly from home. This time of the year seems to be when activity begins to increase, so my jobs and projects in the pipeline also increase, bringing those nasty deadlines along with them.

I have found that I have to be pretty rigid about scheduling too much extraneous stuff during any given business day. I limit it to no more than two business meetings or client visits per business day, because if I don't do that, I get home late and am writing into the wee hours of the night to get caught up. Mind you, I do that anyway, but I prefer to not HAVE to do it, if that makes sense. It's completely different if I CHOOSE to write in the wee hours!

I agree w/ much of what has already been said here; you're the one who knows yourself & your tendencies & preferences best. Become a bit more stern of a personal taskmaster & create a schedule that works best for you. Better to do it now, than wait until that dreaded Eleventh Hour. :)

~ Dawn

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Debbie Lamedman said...

To all of you who offered your suggestions: I thank you and applaud you. I can only hope to put these thoughts into action. I will keep you updated as things progress...if, of course, I can find the time!

Thom Brown said...

I love deadlines - I love the sound they make as they whiz by (someone said). I actually do like them, and I often need them to motivate me. When I have several, I'm pretty good at prioritizing. Thank goodness.

Longtime DL Fan said...

Sounds like you are getting ready for a century ride. lol. But, as you know, you don't just get on your bike one day and do it without the proper training.

Budgeting is a good suggestion, but the real key is planning. Layout the project into several smaller pieces, like chapters in a book or scenes in a play. This makes the project more manageable and a lot less daunting. Figure out everything you need to do for each part of the project. If "figuring out" means making to do lists, great. Thoughts on post its, awesome. Whatever works best for you. Then, try to work on the project when you have the most energy. Maybe after working out (if you still are) if exercise helps with creativity.

Hope this helps.