Hmmm . . . I have a dilemma.
I don’t know about you all, but for me, deadlines are a critical motivator. The downside to that is that without them I flounder a bit. In college, I was one of those people in the labs writing essays until the wee hours. When I taught college, I was the teacher sailing into the room at the last minute with my skirts tangled and pen holding a haphazard bun in place. As a mother, I had to set alarms for “drop dead time” to leave to pick up the children from school (which usually means being early because the alternative is being that mommy). As a writer, it’s meant that I set myself deadlines that are earlier than the contracted deadline—but just in case, fight for the later deadline in contract as a contingency plan.
The key is working with my tendency to procrastinate so it's not a limitation. Deadlines inspire me. Knowing that it's due now (what "it" is) gives me the same kick that I get from a strong pot of tea or one of those fattening mocha drinks. The beauty of it is that my deadline-NOW adrenaline rush is like calorie-free caffeine. How do I make that deadline kick work for me? I set myself earlier deadlines & trick myself. I plan for them, mark them on calendars, and by the time they are looming, I feel that kick. In doing this, I'm "at the last minute" for my false deadlines, but significantly ahead of schedule for the official deadlines.
So far, I’ve only written six novels, but I’ve turned every one in early. My next book is due December 2011, but I have set myself a personal deadline six months earlier in order to prevent lateness. In other words, I work with my natural tendency to procrastinate by building it into the schedule.
Of course, my other natural inclination is towards obsession, so it could really be that I’m not being organized at all, merely that I wanted to work on this new project so I rationalized it as “forward planning” in order to justify what I wanted to do anyhow. Hmm . . . that's a new topic though, so we'll stick with the idea that I'm actually harnessing the procrastination, NOT that I'm powerless before the obsessive desire to write.
. . . and anything that leads to more travel (especially to lovely Scotland) is a good thing.
So what about you? Do you have personality quirks you harness for your job? For your self-rationalization needs? Have you found yourself off on any adventures or predicaments because of your attempts to harness the quirks?
[NOTE: While I'm not online all day, I will be back to read replies. I always read every reply to any blog I post be it here on the group blog or on my own blog.]