Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Deadlines: Motivators or Stressors?

Posted on Nov 9, 2017 by Lisa Ricard Claro   14 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Thursday greetings, buttercup! Your eyes do not deceive you. I am a day off from my usual Wednesday post. Oops!

I haven’t missed a Wednesday post in years, unless it was part of a scheduled break. My type-A personality is pacing and nail biting over this. Missing a deadline, even one that is self-imposed, is cause for upset. I may have to punish myself with a cupcake. That doesn’t sound like much of a rebuke, but I’ll feel horrible about all those calories. Honest!

Missing my Wednesday post got me thinking about deadlines. We come up against many over the course of our lives, some more important than others. Here are a few I thought of right off the bat:

  • Turning in school assignments on time—or not—might affect your GPA. In high school, my A+ paper was reduced a full letter grade to B+ because I turned it in a day late. Mrs. Mountford’s due dates were not to be trifled with. Losing that hard won A+ made me miserable—obviously, since I’m still whining about it 40 years later. Some things are just whine-worthy. This is one of them. BUT . . . thanks to Mrs. M, I learned something valuable and have missed few deadlines in the last four decades. There’s a reason she is the best English and Literature teacher ever to walk the planet.
  • Like Mrs. M, the IRS does not fool around. Although the IRS allows for extensions on the filing of annual taxes, they charge interest retroactively on any monies owed. So, if you don’t file your taxes until October, you will owe your taxes due plus late fines and interest on that amount from the previous April. This is incentive to stop putting off that first quarter visit to the accountant’s office.
  • Submission deadlines on anything publishing related are to be taken seriously. If a call-out specifies a deadline of December 1st, then interested writers had best complete their work and deliver it on time and following the requested guidelines. The phrase “you snooze, you lose” applies here. Once in a while an editor might accept something late, but if it’s a new market and you have no prior working relationship with that editor, don’t bet your byline on it, especially if it’s something likely to generate tons of submissions. To have our work considered, we must submit on time.

Deadlines can work for us or against us. If you’re someone who uses deadlines as motivational tools against procrastination, they are positives. I’m one of those. Deadlines help keep me on track and organized. But if you’re someone who procrastinates even as you stare at your calendar and stress over those big red circles around dates, then deadlines are negatives. My advice? Stop stressing. Go eat a cupcake. Or two. And after you feel you’ve punished yourself enough 🙂 put photos of Thor beside those big red circles and watch your motivation kick into high gear.

(I might have a teensy little crush on Thor. Shh . . . don’t tell the hubster.)

Which type of person are you? Do you thrive on the pressure of a deadline or do you use the deadline to keep you on task? Will you share in the comments a time when a deadline either helped or hurt you?

See you next Wednesday. Thanks for hanging out with me!

Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last, Love to Believe, or Love to Win in eBook or print just click the book cover on this blog’s sidebar. Autographed copies are available for purchase on my HOME page. 🙂  The audio version of Love Built to Last is available HERE now!

14 Responses to "Deadlines: Motivators or Stressors?"

  1. Comment by joan mountford
    November 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm  

    Well, Lisa, if that B+ has kept you out of trouble with the IRS all these years, I guess all is well. (I hear they get very annoyed with taxpayers who shirk their annual communication responsibilities.) Love, mrs. m.

    • Comment by Kris
      November 9, 2017 at 3:33 pm  

      In Lisa defenses it’s the new crowd that she is hanging out with in Venice that likely caused her to miss a deadline.. we are a very bad influence, likely we will not get any better. So happy to have her in “our Circle”. K

      • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
        November 12, 2017 at 9:59 am  

        True! Y’all are a terrible influence! lol Seriously, though, I love my new home and friends, and I’m beyond grateful to have been accepted into such a vibrant and caring tribe. 🙂 Blessings abound.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2017 at 9:51 am  

      That B+ had more of an impact than you will ever know, all positive. You taught more than just English and Literature, Mrs. M. You taught real life lessons, and you did it with care and grace. This former student is grateful and can never say thank you enough.

  2. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    November 9, 2017 at 1:37 pm  

    Deadlines do stress me out but they are also my friend. I’ve always been a procrastinator. When I was still working, deadlines kept me on track, even if I was always finishing at the last minute.

    Now that I’m retired deadlines don’t mean as much, but I take my ARC reading commitments very seriously. I keep a spreadsheet of release dates/deadlines to keep me on track. Whenever I’m asked to read something I always as for a deadline because I’m often juggling several things at once. If an author doesn’t need a book back for a few weeks that gives me the opportunity to read something else that might come up with a much shorter deadline.

    This strategy has always worked until hurricane Irma hit. That lovely storm really messed up my schedule and I missed several deadlines. I’m still trying to catch up on reading things I had to skip because of other upcoming reads I had due. Fortunately, authors are very understanding people and everyone was just concerned that I didn’t have any real damage from the storm.

    My family and some friends don’t really understand why I let ARC reading stress me out. It doesn’t exactly do that, as I love reading almost more than anything, but it can be a little stressful when real life has to come before my book life. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to reading your next book. 😉

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2017 at 9:53 am  

      ARC reading would stress me out, too. I think it is because you are working on someone else’s deadline rather than your own, and that’s always tough. This author is grateful that you don’t mind taking that on!

  3. Comment by Pat Wahler
    November 9, 2017 at 3:23 pm  

    A deadline works as a motivator for me. Sometimes its the only thing that kicks my posterior into action. Otherwise I rely too much on the “I’ll do it tomorrow” philosophy.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2017 at 9:56 am  

      Yep. Me too. I always think of Ellen DeGeneres’s quote: “Procrastinate now! Don’t put it off.” Haha.

  4. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    November 9, 2017 at 4:18 pm  

    Yeah, deadlines…I used to be the type to get something done WAYYYYYY before a deadline because I hate waiting till the last minute. Now that I’m older, I don’t seem to mind one little bit waiting till the last minute. It’s kind of a rush, pushing myself right up till that window closing. 🙂

    And Chris Hemsworth? Oh my Thor, who doesn’t have a crush on that guy???Welp, there’s goes any work for me this afternoon…

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2017 at 10:02 am  

      Truth be told, I get started on things in plenty of time, but I don’t always—squirrel!—stay focused. I end up rushing at the last minute to finish because I didn’t stay—squirrel! squirrel!—on task. I work well under pressure, though, from a creative standpoint. Some of my best work has been produced when I’m at my most frazzled. As to Thor, well . . . *sigh* . . . let’s call him inspirational and just leave it at that. 😉

  5. Comment by MaryLou Boucher
    November 9, 2017 at 9:08 pm  

    When I was in my twenties I used to be responsible for submitting an editorial to my weekly newspaper, The Broadcaster. I may have been the Editor, but I was also a 20-something without strong opinions. My deadline to submit the editorial was my friend. I developed my ideas and opinions under pressure and then I would organize my thoughts. I came to appreciate my deadlines.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2017 at 10:10 am  

      It sounds as if, in addition to being a job, that editorial position was a fantastic learning tool as well. I’m curious to know if you continue to work the same way—using the deadline pressure to cook your ideas—or, if because of that particular job, you modified your methods to alleviate the pressure aspect.

  6. Comment by Stephanie
    November 10, 2017 at 8:27 am  

    I worried for you Wednesday, checking my trash and spam folders for your early morning email! Thursday blew by and I’m just now reading (and enjoying the Thor pictures).

    I love a hard deadline. Helps give perspective to the other things in my life. How important is vacuuming this instant when I have only 7 hours of aloneness before the hubs comes home hungry and a manuscript to work on, books to read and coffee to drink?!? BTW, coffee drinking and vacuuming is not advisable. Just saying.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 12, 2017 at 10:13 am  

      Haha! Coffee and housework go hand in hand for me. The coffee ensures a thorough job. Caffeinated Lisa moves furniture and scrubs baseboards. Decaffeinated Lisa thinks no one will notice the puffs of dog hair behind the sofa. 🙂

      P.S. Thanks for worrying about my missed post!


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