Saturday, October 22, 2016

Why Deadlines are Bad

If you've ever read a single goal-setting book, you know that deadlines are a huge part of making attainable goals.

Personally I use deadlines for all sorts of things: I want to finish my typescript by the end of the year, I want to be fluent in a foreign language at least by the time I'm 22, I want to be on the varsity tennis team by the time I'm a senior, etc.

But, deadlines are not always good.  I've learned this the hard way.

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What is the best way to reach a goal??

I am a very organized person.  I like everything to fit perfectly in little compartments and refuse to let things spill over.  I get very attached to deadlines--too attached.  If I fail one or get a little off track, I am liable to abandon it completely.

I used to be very compulsive about things, particularly cleaning my room.  Instead of just keeping my room routinely clean, I needed to completely empty it on a regular basis, clean it from top to bottom, and then put my stuff back in.  This was a very time consuming process, which meant I would wait until a significant occasion to actually do it...

...oftentimes this coincided with the beginning of school.  Over the summer I would think about how I wanted to improve in the school year: I want a clean room, to do my hair every day instead of just throwing it in a braid, to take very neat notes, etc.
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The problem was that I wanted a deadline to match these goals.  I would push my goals to the start of the school year.  I would say to myself: don't start doing your hair nice until school starts, or don't worry about your handwriting until school starts.

The problem with this mentality is that it causes procrastination.  A much better idea is to get a head start on the things you want to change.  I've learned this very slowly, but I think I'm finally getting a better grasp on things.

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There is no way that any deadline is magically going to make you better at something.  If you want to get into a routine, start today.  Don't wait until some milestone comes along--stop putting it off!  Don't be like me.

If you want to start learning a language, take the first steps today.  Don't wait until the New Year to make a resolution about it, just look up a book today and start working on it.  Make a plan, and run with it.

If you want to be on the varsity sports team as a senior, don't wait until senior try-outs to do your best.  Go out now and practice!

Alright there is my little rant about simple things you probably already knew about.  This is more like convincing myself that I need to get a head start on things rather than taking life on passively.

Carpe diem!

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Go Overseas

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