Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deadlines: Good, Bad, Ugly?

Last week I worked on a spread-sized illustration assignment for a magazine that was very detailed and complex. (I'll post it after the issue comes out.) I had only a few days to complete the final art. Hunching over my drawing table all week was not great for my eyes, wrist, back or brain-- but I was pleased with the finished piece, and the sense of satisfaction when I shipped it out on Friday felt great. (Not to mention leaving the house for the first time all week. Who knew grocery shopping could be so much fun??) This I have learned: I am much more productive when I have a deadline.

When I'm not busy I set deadlines for my own writing and illustration projects. For some reason it's easier to focus when I have a lot of things on my to-do list. I take these self-imposed deadlines as seriously as a paying assignment-- they help quell that gnawing anxiety about not having created enough.

So, how about you-- do you set your own deadlines? Do you work better with them or with wide-open spaces of time?


gail said...

Deadlines make things happen for me. I try to make my own, but then if I break them who'd know? So I find real ones work better. Whether it's signing up for a workshop, or meeting with a critique group, I have to get it done! I tend to work better under pressure. (Although sometimes that's not near as much fun.)

I find deadlines work to get things done great in other areas of life too. Want to finish that home improvement project or have a clean house, just invite company over. Now you have a deadline and you get it done! :)

Interesting topic!

Jennifer Thermes said...

You are SO right about planning a party as motivation to fix up the house... we've done that many times! :-)

And yes, workshops and critique groups are great, too. Keeps your "head in the game!"