*THIS IS POST NUMBER 3 OF THE CONTEST. DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, THE CONTEST HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL 10PM PST TODAY. THANK YOU, AND KEEP GUESSING!*
(Original is here)
We've all been late. Alright, maybe not all of us. As few as there may be, those perfectly time-aware people do exist. But... most of us aren't one of those people.
What do we do when we're running late? Falling behind? Not keeping up with our schedule?
Let's say you're in a race. The gun shot rings out, and all of the participants spring into a sprint. Run, run, arms back and forth, back and forth. Legs pushing hard. One lap around, and... you're behind. You had planned on finishing in first place, but it looks like Bob beat you to it. Only two laps left. Now, you have two options:
Keep running at the same pace, OR...
If you continue at the same pace, you'll fall further and further behind. Maybe not even finish in second place. And you'll be worn-out and telling yourself that it's too late, and there isn't any plausible way for you to climb back to the top.
But if you run faster, work harder, push yourself more than you usually do, more than anyone else in the race does, then you will speed up. You will catch up. And then, eventually, you'll win.
Sounds easy, right? Eh, not really. It's one thing to keep that thought in mind, but completely another to actually carry out the plan. After all, who wants to run faster when you're already panting every molecule of oxygen in you out? I wish there was a formula for this, but there isn't. In fact, by proclaiming you're "behind schedule" and "can't catch up", you are actually naming an excuse for.... you guessed it. Procrastination.
What to do? Besides the ways you can help avoid procrastination (which you can find by clicking on the link above or going to the Advice Column page), I suggest that you let in others.
Here's what I mean: When you're in a race, you have friends and family members cheering you on. Those encouragements motivate you to run faster, harder. Same thing with writing. When you are falling behind on schedule, you have to let your friends encourage you to go on. Remember when Mary said that she wanted to read your manuscript so badly, but you weren't--aren't--finished yet? Let her excitement motivate you to finish it. Also, go to your worst enemy--the one that will say "Wow, I'd be surprised if you did finish it". There goes your instinct of competition (same as in a race) and hopefully, you'll be outraged enough to finish your manuscript just for the sake of shoving it in your enemy's face.
And... that's it! If you ever fall behind on schedule and feel discouraged again (which is completely understandable and normal), feel free to check back on this post and get the motivation you need to keep up in the race.
What do you do when running late?