This week, a few people from my husband’s office invited us to go to a trampoline gym on Wednesday evening. When asked if I wanted to go, my first thought was, “No, I have too many things due on Friday to take an evening off,” but I couldn’t stop thinking about how much fun a room full of giant trampolines sounded. Going out and doing something fun on a weekday is such a rarity, that I decided to pretend that everything due on Friday was actually due on Wednesday at 6pm. If I managed to get everything done by my new deadline, then I could go out and have fun. If not, I would be a little bummed that I couldn’t go out, but at least I would still have 2 more days to finish it before the real deadline.
Have you ever noticed that it’s sometimes easier to get things done when you’re up against a deadline? That’s because you don’t have time to be distracted. You don’t have to have as much self-discipline to focus on something if you wait until the day before a deadline. After all, you have no choice! When you wait until the last minute to get something done, you’re forced to focus on it and get it done in the least amount of time possible. Of course the problem with this is that when you wait until the last minute, you have to cross your fingers that everything will go exactly according to your plan and we know how often that happens! Broken printers happen, flat tires happen, lost internet connections happen, last minute social invitations happen. All of these things can prevent you from meeting your deadline. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could work as efficiently as you do when you’re up against a deadline without having to wait until the last minute?
That’s when you create your own deadline! Creating your own deadline a few days before the real one gives you the same kind of focused energy without having to worry about something coming up at the last minute. If something unforeseeable happens and you’re unable to finish your work, you still have a couple days as a buffer to get it done. If you’re afraid you will have trouble sticking to a self-created deadline, make a plan to do something fun after you’re done with your work to motivate you. In case you’re wondering, I did manage to get all my work done before Wednesday and went out with my friends, and if you’ve never been to a trampoline gym, you should go. As a kid you probably didn’t realize what a great cardio workout it was.