Many people assume when you are a “at home” mom or dad, you don’t have deadlines in your life. I, however, need them to get anything done. So, I impose them on myself.
I have lived the “come what may” life, and found that it doesn’t really work for me. Play with the kids instead of cleaning the bathroom? Sure, sounds good. Go to a movie instead of finishing the blanket that I planned for the baby shower I am attending tomorrow? Absolutely. Promised to finish a scrapbook for your Mother in Law? I’ll get to it.
The problem with that is nothing ever got done. There was always something more important, more fun, or just distracting to do. That baby blanket would be sitting in my knitting basket months or years after the baby was born. And unnecessary money would be spent at the last minute. I couldn’t really go to the baby shower with a note that says – “Your gift will be here when the baby is two, I promise!”
So, I started imposing deadlines on myself. Right now I have 3 main deadlines that are set in stone.
1: My Disney Scrapbook – due by May 1st so that it can be printed by Mother’s Day
2: Spring Cleaning – the list will be completed by May 1st.
3: My grandson’s baby blanket – due by May 30th so I have plenty of time to get it to them before the baby is born.
Those are my long term deadlines, but I also give my self daily deadlines – blog posts to be written, the part of the spring cleaning list that needs to be done, exercise time, preschool time. Others may call this their “to do” list or top five list. I call it my daily deadlines because it is nonnegotiable. There is a longer to do list that is negotiable.
This daily list gives me a way of breaking big tasks into smaller ones so that I don’t procrastinate and try to finish a scrapbook over night or spend an entire day scrubbing my house. That just makes me cranky and hard to live with.
It also keeps me honest. I have spent many nights awake until 2 or 3 am working on the scrapbook pages or the blog posts that I didn’t get to during the day. I have missed out on movies because I didn’t finish my cleaning that day. Them’s the breaks. People at 9-5 jobs skip lunches and work late because they didn’t get their work done and the deadline is looming. It’s the same for me.
So, I put the question to you – do you impose deadines on yourself, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? What works for you?