“People prefer to build a dam, stopping the workflow the minute that the clock turns from 4:59PM on Friday afternoon. And itâ€™s no wonder that people feel inundated and overwhelmed on Monday morning, when the floodgates are lifted, and suddenly theyâ€™re in way over their head, desperately trying to tread and keep their head above the water that threatens to drown them.”
I’m a freelancer. As such, I have no work-week. I have deadlines. Friday means nothing to me… Neither does Monday… Neither does Saturday. They’re all the exact same day. The only thing that matters to me is how much time I have until my delivery date (meaning videos, not kids, in case you don’t know whose blog you’re reading).
I’m not a 9-5er. It’s not in my blood. It’s not in my father’s blood. I “can’t” go somewhere every day and waste my time in order to get some money. OTOH, I edited my Vlog Deathmatch video in three consecutive days of probably 17 hours each:
Bill Cammack & Action Girl | Vlog Deathmatch: Music Video Challenge
Recently, I had a project deadline change on me from “Probably a couple of weeks from now” to “Tomorrow morning”. This would have freaked 99% of the population the **** out, and they would have folded entirely or turned in garbage on time. I was perfectly calm, for two reasons:
1) I had approximately 20 hours left to deliver the video.
2) I felt perfect… (felt perfectLY? sounds like an action, not a status. :D)
It was important that I had 20 hours left to deliver because I knew I could finish the project to my own personal satisfaction within that amount of time. I knew there was enough time for me to do a really good video, and this added to my state of well-being, because I didn’t have to resort to some sort of 2-minute drill style which would have been more of a salvage operation than a creative edit.
It was important that I felt perfect(ly) because I knew that I was going to be able to utilize as many of those 20 hours as I needed. I knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep. I knew I wasn’t going to lose focus. Mentally and physically, I was in perfect condition to think and ‘perform’. I didn’t have some 9-5 to go to in the morning, so I wasn’t worried about what time I might have to stay awake until.
So, basically, 14 hours after I found out about my 20 hour deadline, I was finished. The project was delivered around 3 am when the deadline was approximately 9 am. I felt fine. I felt accomplished, and “another one bites the dust”. :D
I’ve always had intense dedication to goals that I felt were important, but I’m sure my emotional reaction to time and deadlines was crafted in college. In school, we didn’t get homework. We got “Problem Sets”. Basically, you were given your assignment on Tuesday, for instance, and you were required to turn in the answers NEXT TUESDAY. Often, what this meant was that I didn’t do JACK about it until Sunday, hahaha and then spent every extra hour at my disposal on Sunday and Monday to do what I should have spread out during the week.
Because of this, a brotha had to “get in where he fit in” :) You don’t eat in the morning and then at 12 noon and then at 6pm. You eat when you eat… IF you eat. You might have to take that trip to the candy machine in the lobby and get back at it. You don’t sleep at night. You sleep when you can’t stay awake any longer. Day and Night doesn’t mean anything anymore, and you wouldn’t even know if you didn’t have windows. You never know what day of the week it is, because it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how many days and then hours you have left before you have to walk into that classroom with the right answers for the professor. You never know what time it is, because that doesn’t matter either, unless you’re still working on a Problem Set on the day it’s due, and you don’t want to miss the class you need to attend to hand it in.
So there is no “stopping of the workflow” that Melissa mentions in her post. There can’t be… because the deadline is always there, and it’s always approaching. Not working on your project only makes you *MORE* aware that you now have EVEN LESS TIME to accomplish your task. Psychologically, it’s in one’s best interest to “clear the desk” and knock off projects as quickly as possible. There is no “time for work” and “time to not work”. There’s only the list of projects you have to complete and the time you need to allocate to complete each one.
Right now, I’m running into a birthday party deadline, so that’s a wrap!