This Sunday is the date for me to submit my assignment for the piano class. I thought it was last Sunday. Last Sunday, I submitted my assignment and I had waited for the class to begin. Then I realized that the class actually was one week later due to the Spring Festival Holiday schedule. Although we were given four weeks to work on the assignment “Canon,” I worked harder on the assignment in the final week. I worked extremely hard on the day before, on Saturday.

The big question is, would I have produced a better assignment if I had known I still had one more week this time? I don’t think so. Although I was not happy with the work, I did try my best, well, in the last two days.

How many of us have a last-minute passion attitude like me in our life? We are not motivated to work on something until we realize the schedule is very tight. It is said that “your wisdom will come to you at once when your deadline is near”.

My son has a similar scenario with his homework; however, I hope it’s not because of his heritage from me. And my piano homework is definitely not at the top of my priorities on my list, so I could tell him that your mom is not like this if one day he asks me~ blush.

However, I did get inspired by the piano assignment this time. If I had set my deadline 1 week earlier, would I have done much better each time? I know each assignment I submitted was in a rush, I would say that’s the best I can produce. However, I need to add another “suffix”, which is “in the last three days”. The future plan is this: I set the timeline a few days earlier, then I have a draft version assignment number 1, then number 2, then the final version. Wouldn’t the quality be better than the only rushed version I submitted each time?

My son sometimes works on his assignments at midnight before the due date; then, he gets pressure from the timeline. And then his assignment is always not completed to his best ability. Sometimes he even misses reading the questions right due to a stressful condition. 

Here are my learnings from this deadline scenario and I will try a few ways to improve:

  • Put the timeline a few days earlier than the actual timeline, so I am not stressed to submit something because the deadline is near.
  • Arrange a dedicated time on my calendar to work on the task and don’t move it unless it’s really something out of control. For example, I can arrange 30 mins each day after dinner to work on the piano piece, instead of 2 hours each day in the last three days
  • Break a big task into several steps. For example, if I need to finish 20 pages or a comprehensive slide, I can work on an outline first, then work on different sections according to the outline at different times. After finishing the whole, I will have draft version 1 and draft version 2 or a final version. 

What other tips do you have?