Updated: Jan 11
Deadlines - they are everywhere around us. Self imposed, work or school imposed, goal driven, and fear driven.
It doesn't really matter what is pushing you towards the deadline - it mostly feels the same: exciting, exhausting, confusing, complicated, and stressful. For me - it's mostly that last one: STRESS.
Stress is a physical response in your body that is accompanied with many different feelings. Our human default setting is to use our past life experiences to determine if the new thing that we are doing is going to be exciting or terrifying. We then move forward with this emotional mindset and use all the energy that our body's stress response has supplied us with.
The result looks like staying up all night to finish writing a paper that is due the next day (or cramming it all together in 4 hours and submitting it at 11:59pm so it's not late). It's the late night scrolling on Amazon to get all the things we need for our trip we just booked. It can also look like doom scrolling, binge eating, sleeping through everything, or experiencing all the emotions all at once.
And often the outcome mirrors our historical outcomes in similar situations. Humans have a way of choosing the same path because it is known - not because it is the fastest, or the safest, or the one that will lead to the best outcome, just that it is known. You, as a traveler, know what to expect and therefore know how to plan.
I love a good deadline - it motivates me to get done what I need to do. Historically I was a planner. I would plan out my life weeks to months at a time. When I was still in school, I had spreadsheets outlining what courses I needed to graduate and how I could do that as fast as possible. I knew when all my papers were due and I allotted time to outlines, research, drafts, and final product. Sometimes I gave myself weeks to do this, and other times just days. Fun Fact: I did my ENTIRE senior high school thesis in one week. ALL my down time was fully channeled in to getting the project done, and done well. And this was back when you still had to do research in libraries, out of books with actual paper and bindings.
As I have aged, and I no longer have a GPA fueling my motivation, my relationship with deadlines has shifted. I no longer look at them as mile markers, but full on end of the road - do not pass go, go straight to jail - situations. If I don't get it done by the deadline I have failed. If I fail at something I am a failure (this is faulty logic, stick with me).
As you can imagine, this isn't always the best motivational mechanism for a self employed entrepreneur because deadlines are mostly self made and only loosely tied to real life needs (most things have wiggle room).
Until I do a little bit of mental gymnastics to convince myself that there are real, dire needs that I need to focus on. It is a weird, fine tuned balance that I am still honing so that I also don't burn myself out. ( Which I did...hence no writing since August!)
Here is my trick: I use other people's deadlines to set my own. I look for a presenting problem that other people might be experiencing and set a goal for myself to provide a service to ease their process around the deadline.
Because STRESS makes us walk down the same path, even when it doesn't help us get where we want to go.
That's where I come in. I help you find a new path, open up the possibilities of looking at the deadline from a completely different point of view. As of the writing of this article, it is deadline time for college applications. The time of personal statements, essays, clarity around a future that is unknown.
I'm going to be offering both IN-PERSON and VIRTUAL workshops to help high school seniors, transfer students, and graduate school hopefuls nail their applications. It's not too late to invest in putting yourself on the best path. From someone who always went at it alone, having a partner to shift your perspective IS the way to get where you want to go, with efficiency and your sanity still intact.
If you or a loved one, or a loved one's loved one is putting together their college applications and you want to be the first to hear all the details (and maybe get a discount?) - sign up below.
Pass it on friends. Transitioning into collegiate level education is not for the weak. Let me help you get there.