Friday, April 9, 2010

How to meet a deadline when it looks like a lost cause

I spent last Saturday night, the Saturday before Easter, baking, decorating and wrapping these Easter biscuits (or cookies). Things got a bit stressful at 8pm when I pulled the dough out of the refrigerater and found it too crumbly to roll. I had never used this recipe before, did I follow it right? I didn't know so I just added water and crossed my fingers for luck.

All I knew was that it had to work, because I had no back-up plan for gifts for my family and friends the next day. It would take too long to start from scratch with a new batch of dough. And anyway I needed some sleep before the marathon of church and family visits began the next day.  The shops were already closed. My deadline was starting to look hopelessly out of reach, but I didn't panic.

I've know a great little trick to getting things done when you're running out of time.

You just go for it.

Obvious huh? But I needed reminding, and two things - watching cooking competitions on TV like Masterchef, the Iron Chef, and My Kitchen Rules, and reading this guest blog post at Problogger - did it.

On those cooking shows it always looks like they will run out of time to get anything decent on the plate. There're always 15 seconds left on the clock with the chicken still roasting, the verjuice unfinished, and the white chocolate and raspberry tarts unfilled. But they usually still manage to pull off a fantastic-looking meal. How? They just go for it, hell for leather.

According to Annabel Candy's blog post, she had given herself a deadline of 12 months to get 1000 subscribers to her new blog. After six months of blogging she only had 43 subscribers which she said was a bit depressing. But she didn't give up, and as the 12 months was drawing to a close she had 950 subscribers and was confident of reaching her goal. She didn't use any tricks like lots of giveaways either, she just put her head down, wrote more articles and kept submitting them to bigger blogs until they got accepted as guest posts giving her own blog lots of exposure.

As for me, my own writing and marketing goals for April are already starting to look a little out of reach. With a week of school holidays left to go, I won't be able to work on anything much until the middle of the month when my daughter goes back to school. But I'll hit the ground running, and hopefully I'll still have a small stash of Easter cookies to help me get by (I find working more fun when there are good snacks around!).

What tips do you have for meeting (almost) impossible deadlines?

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  1. Hello, found you thru Brenda's FYBF. Those cookies look yum!

  2. I always leave things to the last minute and I find like you that having a good lot of very bad for me snacks on hand (even if I have to make them before hand :p) and some soft drink and then just getting on with doing it seems to do the trick :). If not then I have become very good at improvising :p

    I found your blog via McLinky :)

  3. When action must be taken, I think, "Do First, Think Later!" And I just starting DOING. Looks like you did awesome, they're beautiful!

  4. Do first, think later - exactly! I need to remember that. I tend to overthink things and that often slows me down or makes me abandon attempting things altogether.

    Jen, it's great to have a fellow procrastinor come and drop by!

  5. I'm with you: I kind of jump in with both feet on a wing and a prayer, and hope for the best. And guess what? It usually works out!

    So why stress, huh? ;)


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