Racing with the clock


To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.

American conductor and composer, Leonard Bernstein, was born on this day in 1918. (died 1990)

See? Even Bernstein worked best on a deadline.

I got used to the concept of deadlines when I was working on student publications in school. Not so much with the high school newspaper because it wasn’t necessarily a crisis if we moved our publication date.

But, in college we published every Wednesday, and that meant that every Tuesday night was a late night in the office. And trust me, this was long before there was anything known as desktop publishing software…or really even…software.

When I moved across the hall to the yearbook office we faced routine deadlines that usually coincided with the end of the quarter and finals week. I am not the least bit bitter that these deadlines may or may not have been the reason I was a finalist, but didn’t make “Who’s Who.”

No, really, I’m over it.

I digress.

It’s funny. Even now I work on deadlines. Sure there are routine deadlines in the daily torture…er…job, when I’m planning for a meeting or have a report due. But as a writer I often have deadlines with clients.

Then there are shows. You know the date of opening night. You have so many hours set aside for rehearsal. And then, the curtain goes up, so you’d better be ready. Even if you’re not.

Sure there are missed deadlines. Sure there are opening nights that should have been previews.

But something about the pressure of that deadline gets us working harder, and hopefully smarter, to get the job done.

Trust me, I can procrastinate with the best of them. And I’m pretty adept at moving my self-imposed deadlines. Long-time readers will know that to be the case with my novel(s). Not to mention the times I’ve said I was going to lose this many pounds by that date.

This is getting way too personal.

When we commit to deadlines, either because they’re set and we can’t move them, or because we’re committed to honoring them, somehow the work usually seems to get done.

I don’t know who first said if you want something done, ask a busy person. But it’s true.

Usually they’ll (or we’ll) find a way to get it done.

If for no other reason that then fact that we have a hard time saying no.

That’s another post that I don’t have time to write.

After all, I’m on a deadline.


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