Friday, November 13, 2009

Deadline and Commitments

When I think of “deadline and commitments,” I always remember the Bob Seger song. Over the years I have come to understand the words to that song much more rather than just listening to the music.

Deadlines can be a helpful tool. We (are at least most of us) need a deadline to complete a task. Deadlines keep us focused.

But a deadline can be a difficult thing as well. Deadlines can cause problems or maybe it’s just trying to meet deadlines that causes the problems.

My first editor at a weekly newspaper I worked for told me once that I seemed to work better under the pressure of a deadline. Since we only published once a week, I usually waited until the last day (or next to the last day) to finish my more in-depth articles. I rarely did an article several days ahead, if I didn’t have to.

My way of looking at it then (and now), is that by waiting until the last day to write the article I was making sure I had all the facts possible. If I wrote it earlier, some of the facts could change.

I still wait until the last minute possible to complete an article. I want to make sure I have all my facts and that I’ve thought out the article for the best lead and body of the story.

However, as I get older I’ve noticed that I sometimes push the envelope just a little too far. It seems I wait until the very last second to finish some things. When I do that, it usually causes problems.

By waiting until the last few minutes or hours to do something, I find it sometime interferes with commitments.

If you wait until the last few hours to do something, and then something happens to you - that something you wanted or needed to do, doesn’t get done.

There are a lot of unexpected things that can go wrong. A family member can get sick and need your attention. You could have car trouble and not be able to make it to work to complete your task. Just a long list of things that can cause commitments and deadline not to work together.

How do deadlines work for you? Are you one of those people that pushes the envelope until the last few minutes or do you have things done ahead schedule?

By the way, Happy Friday the 13th.


  1. I guess it's a combination of both with me. I TRY to do things with plenty (or at least SOME) time to spare, but there are times, (actually lately it seems it's become the "norm") I have so many things to do and get done that now it's a matter of prioritizing. And still there are things that should have been done a week ago.

    That makes me nervous. If I don't consciously grab hold and control the situation, I'll go crazy thinking of all I have to do and all the things that haven't gotten done yet!

    I look back on my days in corporate environments, or the times with media publications - and THEN - I was definitely a "works better under pressure" type and bascially and literally just whipped things out at an amazing rate.

    NOW, with my own business I absolutely work "ahead of schedule." THAT I have control of pretty well. It's the other things: blog posts, outside commitments and obligations that, right now anyway - are just quite simply and completely awry.

    Gee thanks, Mason! Just had to bring to the forefront of my mind how I'd better get moving on all this "stuff!" (Actually this is a good thing - so I really do thank you!) --smile--

  2. You're welcome, glad I could help. I've got to make myself do things more ahead of schedule. I put off way too much. I guess in that respect, Scarlett O'Hara is my role model. "I'll think about that tomorrow." Have a great day.

  3. I try *not* to push the deadline. Occasionally life gets in the way of my good intentions! But I think a lot clearer when I'm steadily working to my goal.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. That's what I need to do. I think it would make life a lot easier in the long run. That is my goal, not to wait till the last minute to meet my deadlines.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.