It is soooo easy to let things without a fixed deadline pass by. Writers are very good with firm deadlines. An article idea can sit on my desk for weeks, but two weeks (or sadly sometimes a week) out and I’m on it! Nothing like the pressure of an upcoming date to get me motivated.
The same can be true for the horse world. If you have a show scheduled you will memorize your pattern, work on required movements, practice at the required jump height, etc. prior to your show. But what happens when you have a project without a concrete deadline? Well, if you’re like me it lingers out there in the “Whenever I can get to it” category. That might be a month, it might be six months, heck it might never get done. And the more time consuming we perceive it to be the more we procrastinate.
I see this often in marketing materials for breeding stallions and horses for sale. You know you need updated photos and current video, but it is a time consuming task, and if the horses aren’t exactly being advertised yet, there is no concrete deadline and the task goes unfinished. Then one day someone calls who heard from a friend about a horse you have for sale and suddenly you are scrambling to get photos and video. You end up doing a rush job, and the quality isn’t what you wanted. What’s a person to do? Try a self-imposed deadline. Tell yourself you want to be able to market your horses by a certain date. Make it a deadline you know you can reach, say a month or two away. Write it down in your date book, put it in your phone, post a sticky on your computer. Whatever it takes to make that deadline concrete. Then stick with it. Don’t let yourself off the hook! You may find that you get the job done to your standards, and then you have the proper materials when that person comes to call.