Cutting It Close

Sometimes, adrenaline is your only friend in getting something done at last and done well. Without the rush that comes in the eleventh hour, some ideas or tasks never work themselves out. Procrastination, underestimated workloads, or poorly designed schedules lead you all the way to the finish line where you have no choice but to push through or fail. These moments can deliver great wisdom or most honest truths through your craft when you have neither the time nor energy to overthink or censor yourself.

So how do you recreate this experience at a much larger scale for projects that take months or years? The only chance you’ve got involves breaking the projects down into constituent parks, estimating how long each will take (or how long you’re willing to spend on each), and schedule it out across time. While stakes are never as high for sub-deadlines and the adrenaline never as genuine, knowing that you’re falling behind is the only chance you’ve got at forcing forward. If your deadlines are based in some dimension of truth by working backwards from a final deadline unlikely to budge, remind yourself at each sub-deadline that it truly matters on the path to completing the whole of the project. Treat those sub-deadlines as important to the whole of the project, let that sink in, and just maybe adrenaline will start to kick in.