How To Beat Deadlines Before They Beat You

3:00 PM
I start to get really cranky if I haven’t written the upcoming day’s blog post yet. (That’s when I leave my desk at the office.)

4:30 PM

Sometimes I’m able to write (via dictation) on my way home, but once I’m home, it’s family time.

5:45 PM

There is no way to sit down and write with two toddlers climbing on your face. I wouldn’t even want to try.

6:30 PM

After dinner it’s bath and the kids’ bedtime, at which point I’ve still got about ninety reserve minutes left to do the work.

8:30 PM

Something else needs to be fixed in the house we shouldn’t have bought.

10:30 PM

Deadlines can be good, but rushing to throw a helpful blog post together late at night is not. At this point, I sometimes question whether I should even post at all. It’s difficult to judge if the post is any good, or if I just want to think it’s good so I can meet the deadline.

Now I’ve lost a few things: I’ve lost quality time during the day, because I was distracted, and I’ve also temporarily lost sight of why I write. I should never write because it’s a certain time of day.

Why does any of this matter to you?

You haven’t put yourself on a daily blogging deadline, but you do have other deadlines in your life.

Tasks that you put off doing, except, they are approaching. Whether it’s hourly or by the day, one day, the deadline arrives.

And then it’s already too late to do the task well. Because your head isn’t clear. It’s filled with all of those hours, or days, of built up tension for having not done the task.

Do the task today.

This post that you’re reading was written three days ago. By doing so, I completely eliminated three days worth of unnecessary stress.

I choose to write daily. You can’t change the fact that you have to deal with that debt, or have that conversation with your boss.

But you can choose to make the phone call now, and feel much happier for the rest of this week as a result.

It’s not just for you.

When I have one of those days such as the one outlined above, it affects not only me, but everyone around me. I’m on edge and they all know it.

When I do the work in advance, the opposite is true.

I feel great, and I want to do everything I can to make them feel the same way.

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