Faced with an impending deadline and not feeling focused, I start to question my motivation. Like where was it? Usually, it is not an issue but every so often the river runs dry making it impossible to get the boat moving, yet needing to be further along.
I am sure all of us can relate to this seemingly lack of “oomph” or motivation when you need to get something done and no inspiration to do it. To say that there isn’t the energy is far from the truth. The energy is definitely there just misappropriated. Lots of energy, pressure in my head and turmoil in my stomach, attitude in my mind and excuses fuelling my imagination. I hold back refusing to go forward.
Whenever we hold our energy back, healthy positive energy, which needs to move, we make ourselves uncomfortable. Felt first on a physical level, negative thoughts quickly follow adding to our discomfort. These trigger feelings and before we know it we are caught in a sticky ball of tar that makes any notion of movement feel like an insurmountable task.
The deadline is still there, waiting in the wings, time ticking by and always we have choice. We can add to our pain by ignoring, excusing, procrastinating or we can choose to go forward and accept the responsibility, honouring the deadline.
Everything is energy
Deadlines are goals on an agreed time scale. They are expected outcomes for your energy. Deadlines do not suddenly arise out of nowhere totally taking you by surprise. They were arranged before hand, discussed and agreed. They are essential for production.
What if there were no deadlines to meet? How would things get done? How could we collaborate with one another? Deadlines provide focus and a completion time. Without them we are less productive.
Who hasn’t wanted something done and just assumed that the person doing it will finish it sooner rather than later? I can think of one now that lies in the back of someone's mind on their “to do” list. Without a deadline 10 months on what I thought I would be wearing is still an idea, an idea that is now creating guilt as the pressure to “get around to it” builds in her head.
We all have lots to do. Lots of expectations and lots of demands. As is the nature of the beast the squeaky wheel gets the grease. A deadline provides that squeak. The others lie collecting dust in the back of our minds, ignored or placated. We are haunted by what needs to be finished or should be done.
Giving yourself a deadline is a gift
Giving a deadline to yourself or to another to meet is like giving a gift. Everything is energy and a deadline is a time in the future where that energy will crystallise into a concrete form. No longer an idea, demand or need, at that agreed time it becomes solid. It is out of your head, off the back shelf into reality. Once reaching that deadline you feel great. Something finished is a truly satisfying feeling.
So, if it is such a positive concept, this deadline business, why do we push away from it, begrudge it, causing ourselves all kinds of discomfort?
Two things come to mind - self discipline and fear.
Your ability to be self-disciplined is in direct alignment with your attitude to authority.
Whether we are working for someone or are self-employed in order to complete we need to focus our energy, direct it and follow through. If we don’t take our deadlines seriously perhaps there is a need to check our attitude towards authority. If we believe we don’t have to do it or it doesn’t matter, it becomes easy to excuse away. If we don’t respect authority in others we also lack that respect for ourselves. We let ourselves down. We miss deadlines or don’t finish what we start.
Fear delays action as well as attitude.
If you find yourself pulling away from deadlines or feeling tortured by them ask yourself what is it about the possible outcome that you are afraid of. Perhaps the responsibility of the task in hand, getting it right or just as easily it could be the fear of its success and what will follow. Acknowledge the fear and already your resistance has lessened.
So, a deadline is a point in the future where a project or a phase of that project reaches completion. That is how things get done. If we didn’t have that focus point our energy would have no where to hang it’s hat on and just keep zooming off into that “one day” zone. One day I will do this or one day I will finish that. A deadline provides you with the focus point, it holds your energy so it can manifest.
Energy needs to move. When we refuse or withhold our energy we create an excess of energy in our minds, in our bodies and it fights to get out. This make us uncomfortable, creating stress and discontentment. When we bite the bullet and shove through that dread or resistance, our energy starts to move. The river floods allowing the following movement to be so much easier.
Deadlines are a gift to help us focus and exercise our self discipline. Once completed we have that blessed “feel good” moment. Done. Out of my mind and on to the next thing. The added bonus is each time you meet a deadline, you complete. Like a muscle it strengthens and you with it. You become more aware of your capability.
So, if you are resisting what you know has to be done or have ideas you want to happen but don’t get around to it, reassess your attitude. Befriend your deadline. Accept the gift and start moving forward.
As for myself, I feel great. I have just met my deadline and the river is flowing again. Makes me wonder why we create so much pain for ourselves when we are capable of creating so much more.