“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. ‘’
— Douglas Adams
We all hate deadlines, right? Well, aside from Douglas Adams, most people hate deadlines. But there are some who absolutely love them.
When I began working with a new coaching client recently, I told her at our first meeting that she would need to send me what she had written that week in time for our next meeting. Was there consternation? Was there annoyance? Nope. Neither. The woman was practically bouncing in her seat and she actually did clap her hands as she exclaimed, “A deadline? You’re giving me a deadline? Oh, thank goodness, now I’ll really get some work done!”
Yup. She was a classic “Obliger” in Gretchen Rubin’s concept of the Four Tendencies (if you want to learn more about them, either go to my blog here or to her website). If my client only had herself to work for, she wouldn’t do it. She needed someone else to be accountable to. This was as much her problem that she needed help with as the plot and character development she was struggling with.
Before COVID hit, a lot of people probably grumbled and groaned about the deadlines they had at work. Every day they would go to work and slog away, knowing their boss was just down the hall and expecting something. But then COVID happened and everyone was at home. There was no toe tapping boss nearby. All of a sudden, a lot of people had to do what every writer deals with on a daily basis-self motivation. These people still had to get their work done, but there was no one looking over their shoulder.
A lot of people found that they had problems doing this. There were so many other distractions at home — the tv, the kitchen filled with yummy food, the puppy who needed to be played with, etc. A lot of people learned what writers deal with every single day.
So what do you do? If you are not a “Questioner” who won’t take direction from anyone but themselves or an “Upholder” who manages well with either internal or external expectations, how do you get your work done? And how do you get it done in a timely manner?
The easiest answer is to schedule your writing time into your day. Put it right there into your calendar.