Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Deadline You Can't Make

Housekeeping: I'm leaving on a little trip and I won't be back until the 5th. Posts will come on time - every Wednesday and Sunday - but I won't be responding to any comments until after I return. Sorry! 

Now, back to our regularly scheduled post...

Assignments can be tough, especially when you had an idea, and then lost it. But the best ways to deal with deadlines tend to be the simplest. Here are five quick tips for beating that deadline.


1: Try to get more time

This one may be obvious to some, but it needs mentioning. BEFORE you miss the deadline, do some professional groveling and ask for more time. Give a real reason why you need it. Make it clear that the extension will be worthwhile. Then, make sure you keep to the new deadline.

2: Prioritize

It’s likely that you’re stressing over too many projects at once. As soon as you can, put everything aside and dedicate some time to writing the most pressing assignment. Then write it! Throw yourself wholly into that one project and do not get up until you’ve typed the very last letter of the very last word. Even. If it. Kills. You.

3: Decide exactly what you need to do and how to do it

This is no time for uncertainties. Take a quick moment to evaluate things. What’s the problem? Are you unsure how to write the assignment, or have you not done enough research, or are you at loss how to tie it all together? Figure it out. Create a battle plan, and see it though.

4: Work with what you have

Maybe you’ve written the project, but you can’t get it right. You keep trying to revise it into perfection. All you’re really doing is wasting time and words, so stop. Look at what you have. Try to shift the pieces around to fit what you need instead of writing new material, and then patch it together briefly. Maybe it won’t be perfect, but when you’re stuck, you need to compromise.

5: Breathe

One thing that can really kill the flow is stress. If you’re freaking out, trying to force yourself to do something is a bad way to go. You’ll mentally slam on the breaks. Once that happens, it’s hard to move again. Instead, step back. Re-evaluate and give yourself some time—a few hours, a day—to chill. Make sure that during that time you ease off the pressure and just relax, so you can come back to the project rejuvenated and ready to work.


-Creative A


David Isaak said...

"Breathe" is always good advice, and surprisingly often forgotten...

Creative A said...

Hah, yes...the funny thing is, I wrote this post while on a crazy deadline. I was thinking, "what do I do, what do I do?!" when I just began writing down everything I could think of that might help. I kept telling myself to breathe. It worked. I was amazed I hadn't thought of it sooner.

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