“I only get things done right before the deadline.”
Many of my clients come to me with this, and they think it’s a very big problem.
Before we go to work to solve it, I always ask them to consider that it might not be a problem at all.
Because you can choose to be a person who (calmly) gets things done right before the deadline.
Because of our societal conditioning that shames procrastinators, most people don’t even consider that this is a viable option—but it is.
(From the mouth of a Procrastination Coach )
Once I present this option to my clients, I often hear: “But then I’ll be stressed and anxious for weeks leading up to the deadline, and under intense pressure once I’m actually doing the work.”
But those feelings of stress, anxiety, and pressure aren’t created by the deadline; they’re created by the way you’re handling the deadline.
And you can learn to change the way you handle deadlines.
Anxiety, stress, worry, and pressure are created from thought patterns like:
I really should have gotten started on it by now. (Please. I know I’m going to leave it to the last minute, like always.)
I have such a good amount of time between now and the deadline.
Maybe I have too much time before the deadline.
I don’t know where to start.
Shit, I should have started this earlier, I don’t have enough time now.
If those are the thoughts running through your mind, it makes total sense that you’d feel stressed.
Instead, imagine that these are your thoughts:
I take the time to understand the scope of my work, and plan accordingly.
I commit to leaving myself just enough time to get it done well, while anticipating and planning for “unexpected” obstacles.
I am capable of figuring out a good starting point.
I choose to notice my concerns, and calmly talk myself through them.
Between now and when I’m choosing to do the work, I will practice feeling calm, relaxed, and trusting.
It takes practice to become the person who believes these powerful thoughts, but it’s the surefire path to reducing your anxiety, worry, and stress about deadlines.
Because when these are your thoughts, it literally doesn’t matter when you get the work done—because you know you will.
You can choose to be a person who gets work done right before the deadline, or a person who gets work done well in advance of the deadline.
Whoever you want to be, I can help you when you join Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, the meeting place for soon-to-be former procrastinators.