Deadlines Don’t Mean It’s Done

“Don’t wait until the last minute to do things.”

That’s sound advice we’ve heard jillions of times. Despite the best intentions, it often just doesn’t work that way.

Consequently, we’re working right up to when a project is due. Even then sometimes, the task is not done, and we must go with whatever we have.

It’s logical to get work ahead; as we’re regularly reminded in a critical tone when something is rushed through at deadline, or after. But, that’s the way it’s always been.

Grade school compositions due every Wednesday were finished minutes before the 8:25 bell. Term papers for high school semester’s end often got to the teacher two days into the break, causing delay of grades.

In college, there were always seven chapters to read the day before a final, and cramming all night, to walk in late for the 7:30 class test.

Professional life is no different. Monday noon press deadline and copy must be in place by 9 o’clock. That was the rule. But, if a late-breaking story, or paid-advertisement, arrived at 11:55, it still got in the paper, if we had our way, even though we sometimes didn’t.

Five days a week, it’s the same as a radio marketing consultant. Traffic demands orders before dinnertime. Yet, if somebody calls “too late,” and the message is essential for the next day, all guidelines are off, in our opinion. It’s not always that way, but late is better than never.

During four decades of professional horse training, there was never a last-minute-attitude.  When a new horse arrived, we had our hands on it instantly, typically before the owner left the barnyard. From there forward, intuition guided continuous daily handling.

“Tough ones” were always worked first, with the gentlest last. We didn’t “stew over what might be,” thus concentrating better on remaining horses in the barn.

However, in recent weeks during busy times, we’ve saddled the old gelding, instead of the young stud that really needs our time.

Always, it’s better to get work done in advance, and that’ll continue to be our objective.

Reminds us of Second Corinthians 9:5: “I don’t want anything forced or hurried at the last minute.” Because, Malachi 1:14: “The last minute brings in something worthless.” Thus, Romans 13:14: “Don’t linger, waiting until the last minute.”