Deadlines are your friend

I was helping my wife with some correcting tonight (sometimes I’m an overpaid graduate teaching assistant) and we came across one student who had not completed her past four assignments. She’s bright, creative, capable… but in danger of failing. Why? Because she just didn’t do the work.

She has lots of good ideas, too many probably, and could not pick the perfect one to pursue.

Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, creator of Pong, and otherwise computing genius put it this way: “the ultimate inspiration is the deadline.”  It’s amazing how focused you are on taxes on April 14th. You can’t believe the tasks you complete the day before you leave on vacation.  

And this hits creative people hardest. We are always dreaming, thinking and rethinking… being creative but not actually creating. Duke Ellington said it well, “Without a deadline, baby, I wouldn’t do nothing.”

I saw a bumper sticker once that said “Jesus is coming… look busy.”  I don’t think our busy work will fool Him, but the concept is correct. God actually cares about how we spend our time… it’s a resource (like our world, our health, our words) that we should not squander.

Set a deadline. Focus. Create.
Who knows… you might have time for a rewrite!


Posted on October 26, 2015 in Journal, Training

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