‘Life is a lot like jazz – it´s best when you improvise.’
— George Gershwin
Last week I was saved by the extension of a deadline for submitting a project that I really want to happen.
I never count on the possibility of extending the submission date, so I just kept on working as crazy until the last moment, and when it came to the very hard moment, when I had to decide between sending a version of my project that I was not pleased with, or simply losing the gig, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel in a social media post: “application deadline had been extended for another week”. Such beautiful words…
The effect on my body was quie peculiar. Suddenly, I felt as if my muscles had realized all the pressure they had subjected to. The endless hours in front of the computer, the less than ideal moving pattern, the lack of sunlight… My body became self-aware and decided to rebel. I felt extremely tired and, as much as I tried to keep working, it was pretty obvious that I needed some extra sleep. Who does not, right?
The funny thing about deadline extensions is that they do not generate a domino effect. A postponed deadline does not necessarily cause your next tasks to be shifted accordingly. Usually, the euphoria stage passes quickly. After discovering that, yes, you will have time to finish reviewing your project and calmly complete the form and submit the millions of requested attachments, in a very short time, you will likely find yourself again tangled up with other deadlines that will now collide.
It is all very complicated already as it is, but I insist on making the situation worse, by maintaining an unshakable belief in the fact that I am very smart. So very smart that I can get out of any tangle of tasks unscathed. I am not sure if this happens to everyone (hope so), but I tend to think that I am going to get rid of tasks much faster than I actually do. Either that, or I plan too much for one day. Both things, probably.
One should never forget that life is a lot like jazz. Even if you try your best to have everything organized, the probability that you will have to improvise at some point is, well, one hundred percent. And any jazz cat knows that to really improvise well, it takes a lot of time and a lot of practice. No one flies without first learning to walk. To be able to put your personal stamp on an interpretation, you need to be so familiar with the original version that you can transcend it.
I know that perfectionism is a bit out of date, and that the order is to deliver a lot of content, as quickly as possible. I also know that there is a time when it is necessary to stop correcting and simply finish the work, but between the inability to put an end to projects and doing stuff in a careless way, there is a vast field to conquer.
Be seeing you!