If you’re a freelance writer juggling multiple projects, the simple task of creating a deadline can help you organize time, structure content, and perhaps most importantly, finish tying up just about every loose end you’ve been meaning to get to for the last three weeks but haven’t had the time nor willingness to bother with. As Eckhart Tolle says, “You get there by realizing you are already there,” and even though we’re not 100% certain what the context was, it does serve to remind us that there’s no time like the present to avoid what’s coming up in the very near future. Here are some easy tips to help you keep pushing it off!
1. Clean everything
Cleanliness is next to godliness, and seeing as how you’re going to be doing a lot of praying for things like “the internet breaking” or “daylight savings, except now,” you’ll need a spotless space in which to do so. Deconstructing bookshelves, vacuuming behind couches, and dusting everything are great ways to jeopardize your time. For those extra dedicated to wasting away those precious minutes, ceremonial sage burning is an excellent option.
2. Check your word count
If you already started typing, there’s a slight chance you’ve finished more than you thought. Gently seat yourself in an upright position, shoulders back, focusing on your posture. Give yourself a couple minutes to further delude yourself, then check your word count. Breathe in deeply as you realize you’re only at 62.
3. Google “deadline strategies”
Skim through three out of the top ten results, and visualize yourself applying any of these suggestions. Repeat as many times as it takes 37 minutes to pass.
4. Give yourself a break
Toiling away at everything except that project is causing you to feel like you’ve lost touch with the outside world. Allow yourself a quick break with something like Facebook or YouTube, which are perfect for turning brief visits into multi-hour excavations of old photos from three exes ago.
5. Treat yourself to a smoothie
Seeing your ex so happy with his new dumb Pilates girlfriend probably triggered feelings of stress, so take the edge off by preparing a delicious, healthy treat. Make sure to add a protein like whey or soy to give yourself a barely plausible reason to run to the store.
6. Treat yourself to another smoothie
Going to the store made you extra hungry, so treat yourself to another homemade smoothie, this time affirming that you are a unique and beautiful warrior who deserves smoothies.
7. Have a good cry
Indulge in some good, introspective sobbing.
9. Make a plan
Make a plan to meet this deadline, expressing your intention to the Universe, as well as your editor, who you think might be on vacation anyway since she hasn’t been emailing you as much.
10. Resign yourself to bullshitting
You’re probably hours past your deadline at this point, so bullshit 700 words or so, then barely skim over your piece before sending it in. Remember: everyone will forget what they read by the time the next puppy farting video makes the Internet rounds anyhow.