Living in the Eleventh Hour

It’s time for another exciting episode of the Life List Club!  Remember, the Life List Club is a place for anyone to find support and ideas toward fulfilling their life goals.  Every other friday, our LLC Contributors (who can all be found in the LLC Sidebar) guest post on what advice they can help with toward achieving goals.  We’re honest, full of laughs, true friends, and we’re here to support you!  Join us by commenting, making your own Life List page on your blog, or rolling in the fun over at our twitter party #LifeListClub.

Today I bring you technical writer, Diana Ligaya.  I’m guest posting at the hilariously coy Lyn Midnight’s blog and sharing my bizarre true life dream series with you.  Please come say hi!  Diana, take it away!

Living in the Eleventh Hour

Have you heard of the phrase the “eleventh hour”? Originally taken from the Christian Bible (Matthew 20:6) where it referenced the practice of hiring men late in the day, it is used now to reference that time when the clock is ticking and you’re running out of time.In a perfect world, you would accomplish whatever your goals are without ever approaching the eleventh hour. In the real world, you may have had to beat the clock once or twice. And if you’ve had to do this, you probably remember the added stress and pressure you felt. Suddenly, accomplishing your goal becomes exponentially harder as you fight the clock.For most people, having a project come down to the eleventh hour is stressful.If you are a chronic procrastinator, chances are that you LIVE in the eleventh hour. For eleventh hour junkies, the danger of looming close to the deadline is a thrill. The more chaotic, the more jumbled, the tighter the deadline, the more of a rush eleventh hour junkies get at the completion.

While the occasional eleventh hour save may be thrilling once or twice, living in the eleventh hour is never a good idea. Not only does your project suffer but over time, you will suffer as well. You may soon discover that the stress of constantly working to the eleventh hour outweighs the “payoff” at the end.

So what can you do to avoid living in the eleventh hour? The first step is to figure out what it is that makes you a chronic procrastinator. If you are one of those types that gets a “thrill” out of beating the clock, remind yourself of the stress you feel in the moment by writing it down. Then make it a point to not go to the eleventh hour on your very next project. If you find yourself living in the eleventh hour because you routinely take on too much, pare down your workload, if possible.

Do you live in the eleventh hour? If so, why? What are your tips for avoiding it?

Diana Ligaya has been fascinated with science and technology ever since she could remember. Her voracious appetite for stories and thirst for adventure led her to explore the infinite worlds of speculative fiction.

She loves everything from hard science fiction to post-apocalyptic dystopias and everything in between. She prefers to mix aspects of sub-genres within her work rather than sticking to a “standard” genre framework. When she’s not working on her fiction credits, Diana works from home as a freelance writer, specializing in technology. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, their daughter and their mutt.

Diana blogs at Regimented Creativity and can be found on Twitter @DianaLigaya


19 responses

  1. Great post Diana! I live in the 11th hour a LOT at work, because my tasks and deadlines are so reliant on what others need and everything in a project going in lockstep. What happens before my part comes into play isn’t always in my control, so I have to adapt and deal with last-minute deadline pressure more often than not. That’s made me REALLY good at avoiding the same kind of pressure in my non-work goals. I try to set my writing goals to be realistic, and to do things (like Life List guest post blogs) well ahead of time so I’m not scrambling. I don’t like the feeling of too much pressure and since I can’t control it professionally I take extra measures to keep it out of my personal endeavors as much as I can : ).

    1. You’re so right about this, Pam. I have to fly by the seat of my pants a lot at work too cause everyone relies on how each other has planned out their days. It has made me want more structure to my time at home and with writing.

  2. I totally live in the 11th hour! I’m trying to be better but sometimes other things take higher priority, then the next thing I know, I’m in the 11th hour again. It’s a cycle that can be hard to break.

    I think the key to staying out might be doing a little of everything everyday instead of trying to do it all in one load. I think we all have to look at ourselves and ask why we procrastinate so much, only when we understand that we will get out of the rut.

    1. Smart plan, Jennie, especially since the holidays will be here before we know it (sorry, I work in retail). I’m already trying to set good habits for myself now cause I know it’ll get more hectic in the next months.

  3. […] Every other Friday, Life List Club bloggers trade motivational posts on each other’s blog. Today I’m happy to be hosting Life List Club co-founder Marcia Richards who writes Marcia Richard’s Blog Sexy. Smart. With Heart. Today she is sharing a great post about facing and overcoming procrastination. In the meantime, I’m guest blogging at Jess Witkins’ blog on Living in the 11th Hour. […]

  4. This is a great post! My son and husband are more “eleventh hour” people. They wait to the last minute to complete a project and it drives me crazy. Then again, I probably irritate them because I always have to be early to all appointments and I don’t like to wait until the eleventh hour to complete anything. Chronically early is my middle name. I can understand loving the thrill of the “last minute” but I agree that it will cause you added stress in the end and I believe that’s a negative influence in a lot of people’s lives.

    1. I hereby hire you on my personal butt kicker trainer. No slacking allowed!

  5. I’ve been guilty of that a lot. I’m working on overcoming it. 😀

    1. Me too!

  6. Life in Eleventh Hour land is way too stressful. But it took growing much older to make me pack up and leave for the land of Plan Ahead. No more stress! (Not about having time for things, anyway) 🙂 Hope you guys don’t wait as long as I did to move.

    1. I hope so too. Like Sonia said, I’m a work in progress. Using another schedule where I track my writing goals has been really helpful.

  7. Funny enough I thrive in the 11th hour! When I have too much time I struggle to focus in and just get things done!

    1. I was like that, I think I lost it, now planning works better. Every now and then the adrenaline does make good things happen.

  8. I married into a family that thinks you’re late if you’re not half an hour early so I’ve had to learn and adjust my 0-15 mins late schedule to a 15 to zero minutes early schedule.It was the compromise we were willing to come up with and overall it’s working.

    1. Wow, your family would stress me out! LOL. You are so good to compromise with them like that and you have me giggling imagining your morning get up and go routines. 🙂

  9. This is so not me! If anything, I live in the second or third hour. You’re talking to the guy who would volunteer to give his speech first in class just to get it over with. The one who arrives 20 minutes before the movie starts so he can nab a prime seat. Etc. etc. and so forth and so on.

    1. Wow, that’s the first response you’ve made that made me think of you as Yul Brynner, the man who played the King in The King and I. “Etc., etc, etc.!” LOL.

  10. Procrastinator here but figuring out how to be less of it. 🙂 I think it also helps if you start doing little by little the moment you received your project. That way, when you reach the 11th hour, it’s not so bad that you cram your way through it. It totally worked in college.

  11. Greetings from a fellow Technical Writer. There are definitely times when living in the 11th hour is my drug of choice. But I’ve really been better about that. Sometimes, as I’m sure you know, living in the 11th hour is standard practice for a tech writer. The “go live” is in two days and the developers haven’t finished coding yet. That manual is going to be written in the eleventh hour. 😉

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