How I Learned To Love Deadlines
Posted on December 11 2017
There’s a difference between understanding something and knowing it, right in your core. Like the importance of deadlines.
I hate deadlines, or at least I used to, up until about a week ago!
I feel like I’m late to the party, all the other guests met the deadline (arriving on time) I was late, so missed out on the secret giveaway!
But, a shift, I’m gonna go as far as saying a deep, profound, paradigm shift has occurred, that has altered my beliefs about deadlines!.
That’s some deep shit, right?
As I speculate on where my intense disdain for completing projects on time originated, I can only come up with school and my choice to stop handing in homework from about the age of 13.
Of course, I’ve been meeting deadlines throughout my life. Approached with sullen contempt, completed in silent torture (I'm thinking university dissertation) which seriously damages my attitude towards what I'm doing, shutting down any opportunities for further learning.
For instance, recognising I have staying power, dedication, drive, determination rather than the opposite.
This model has been seriously affecting my business and any chance of it really thriving.
I really get that.
Now, I know what’s on the other side. It feels good. So, I’m going to continue with this emotional shift towards deadlines.
Honestly, right now, I want to curl up and hide behind my keyboard…because, sticking with the party analogy…I’ve arrived and the conversation is in full swing…
But, hang on, I too have something to contribute to this conversation. Here it is:
Why I Hate Deadlines So Bloody MuchI believe I have recently experienced an emotional response that has so moved me I am making a new choice to make a change.
I’ve known for years that working to deadlines would benefit me, but I have resisted, believing in a free spirited attitude towards business and other areas of my life. Let me leave that there, if you will, allow me to give you a bit of background…
I’ve launched a t-shirt business and am studying for a Professional Certificate in Interior Design at the Interior Design School, Queen’s Park, London. I absolutely love the course, which fulfils a long held ambition.
It consists of 4 modules, each builds on skills learned in the previous module, equipping us with both the technical and creative knowledge to become an interior designer.
My nemesis is drawing, especially colouring in my drawings to make them look believeable…
I’ve learned to draw floor plans, a sketch perspective and elevation, using the tried and tested method: the good old fashioned pencil and paper.
But when it comes to colouring in (or rendering) the drawing. I fall apart.
But, this time, with the deadline looming in my mind…I had two weeks to present 5 components consisting of one rendered (coloured) perspective, a floor plan, a furniture board, a materials board and a fully realised workbook, that tells the story of my creative thought process.
I had all the elements, but…the rendered sketch perspective. With a couple weeks to go, I put my big girl drawers on and told myself, I’m gonna do this.
Hours of YouTube videos, 50+ coloured drawings, 3 redraws of the background.
Tears. Late nights. Frustration. Breakthrough. Back Step. - rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat until finally, two days before the submission date the breakthrough I had worked towards.
I produced a rendered picture of my sketch perspective of which I am/was proud enough to hand in. Even though…and this is big…some other elements were not as polished as I would have liked them to be (because of scanning and printing problems).
But I put aside my perfectionism for a moment, because time was running out and decided the project as a whole conveyed my concept, the drawings illustrated how I imagined it the hotel room would look.
All the elements were completed.
How A Complete Emotional Shift Changed My Mind About DeadlinesThe deadline focussed my brain and body in a way that I cannot remember
Oh yes!…I just did…It’s a boy!
The hours paid off…when printed and scanned I held in my hand a piece of work that I was immensely proud of, I felt great!
After the presentation, I received positive feedback, the tutors could see where my idea was going and thought it well executed, with the exception of the poor printing, which I acknowledged.
I knew after that that imbedded into my subconscious was a new belief, deadlines can be immensely beneficial. That’s the difference between understanding something and knowing it.
You know when it hits you right in the emotional gut.
I haven’t discovered anything new or revolutionary, but isn’t it a great feeling when you know you’ve just grown?
Conclusion - And What's Happened Since
There’s process in everything - all your projects, follow the steps, rinse and repeat or change completely. What ever don’t give up.
Don’t throw away your failed attempts, they are part of the process and show your growth and development.
You won’t get it right first time…try…try…and try again. Cry, Stop. Have a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Sleep. Then do it again.
Single minded dedication produces exceptional results
Completing a project to deadline and knowing there are elements that could be better but overriding your perfectionism yields a wonderful feeling of achievement.
Feeling good about yourself enhances your creative abilities
Even if it takes you longer to ‘get’ something than your peers, never mind, just keep pushing on
Since the shift I've begun working on new t-shirt designs, my attention to my business has changed dramatically, I'm creating a timetable to work towards and building in time to do other things, like decorate my home.
Here are some of pieces of my work for the hotel project. My hotel is called: The Cathedral