Dealing with Crunch Time

I’ve intimated a few times in the past that I struggle sometimes with coming up for topics to write about on this blog. It was a bit easier this morning because I had something happen to me, which I wrote about here, but most days I either have to wait for something to come to me or to come across something that sparks an interest to write. Sometimes it’s just an esoteric thought that I want to expand on; other times it’s some news event that grabs my attention. Either way, I try to focus on things that mean something to me so that my writing is genuine rather than just checking the box.

Every once in a while, though, I get myself into a place where checking the box becomes necessary to meet my self-defined schedule. As an independent (and unpaid) blogger, I have the freedom to write when I want, which means that having a schedule isn’t at all a requirement for what I do. Still, because I have a strong desire to somehow turn this into at least a part time career, I force myself to adhere to some kind of set calendar for publishing articles so I can maintain some kind of consistency and hopefully establish a solid online presence.

In my admittedly hurried rush this morning to get things done, I realized I hadn’t planned at all for the Fourth of July weekend, which means that because yesterday was a day off and I don’t typically write on those days, I have to make up what I didn’t write now to catch up. To add to that, I ended up not writing one day last week, so instead of having just one additional article to write, I have two. Work really starts to pile up when you let your routine slip.

Still, while I’m not a fan of having to cram work in because of my own inattention and laziness, it does present me with the topic of an article as a means of catching up. When you start to realize that things are getting away from you, there are basically two responses: you can either let it go and deal with failing or you can straighten up and get to work. While there are many things in my life that I’m perfectly willing to let slide, once I’ve decided something is important I tend to take it as a point of pride that I get it done on time and at a reasonable level of quality.

I’ve said in the past that I don’t believe in trying to be perfect. Once you’ve gotten your work to the point where either you or others find it acceptable, it’s usually a waste of time to continue putting more effort into it. Many people will disagree with this sentiment, believing that you should always put maximum effort into everything you do, but I believe that you only have so much effort to spread around. You have to prioritize the things that are important to you and put most of your effort into those things, reserving the rest for the mundane things that you just do “well enough”. This means that even the things that are important to you will never get your best. Effort is a finite commodity.

Writing this blog has become something moderately important for me to be consistent about doing, which means that I tend to put a bit more attention into it than I would many of the other things I have to deal with. Obviously it isn’t the center of my attention because I have other things going on that are decidedly more important and pay the bills, but as something I’m dreaming of replacing my current line of work it is something that is high up on the priority list.

The point for you, my dear reader, is that sometimes when things are important you get to a place where it’s crunch time, and you can either let things fall apart or buckle down and get it done. While I’d love for every article I write to be something that is of exceptional quality and of earth shattering meaning to me, when you place yourself into a situation where a schedule must be met you sometimes have to just get something out to accomplish the task. With any luck, your natural abilities will make up for your haste, and my hope is that this is the case for this article.

What do you think about meeting deadlines? How many times have you had to rush through things to get something done on time? Do you ever impose your own schedule on things? Regardless of the source, time is never on your side and you should always be ready to marshal your efforts to get done what needs to be done. Few things are worse than failing to meet expectations, especially your own.

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