“Nobody can be anybody without somebody being around.”
John Wheeler

The Element

The Last Minute

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I was never the type of person to truly leave anything to the last minute but – I was very self-disciplined! The flip-side to that was that I was always pressed to do things so that “they don’t get done in the last minute”. Recently I came to realize – that there maybe something to learn from “the last minute experience”!

Interestingly enough – I have run into this (of all places) in my creative photography  work with Shahar. A specific example would be my first exhibition. The exhibition was a lot of work – ranging from a creative process of selecting images, the production of prints and the assembly of the exhibition itself. Being the disciplined person I am I attempted to get a head start but I failed miserably.  I couldn’t even imagine how to start the image selection process. When the time came for the exhibition it came together just fine.

I feel that some tasks simply cannot be started until a certain point in time. Until that time arrives I will put them off. No matter how much I try to push myself to action – it just doesn’t work for me. If I insist on pushing forward I experience lack of motivation and lousy results.

Something in recent weeks (I can’t recall what it was!) triggered a subtle realization about this pattern. My energy seems to be aligned with the relevancy of the task at hand. When the task becomes relevant I am drawn to the task, I am motivated, I am focused, I am efficient and I enjoy doing it. There is a kind of “window of opportunity” during which the energy is just right – a sweet spot for action : )

So I still advocate not postponing things to the last minute BUT I also advocate waiting for the right time (which can be in the vicinity of the last minute) to act.

A final thought – ironically – the reason I wanted to get a head start with the exhibition was because Shahar prompted me to “get started”. Only much later did I realize that Shahar was prodding my intent and energy rather then suggesting that I take action.  Intent and energy take time to build…

Another final thought for business readers – can this shed an interesting light on dead-lines? I always thought that the name “dead-line” is ironic – what dies? I think it kills energy – and not when the dead-line arrives but when it is created! Is it any wonder that most projects don’t meet dead-lines? Maybe the focus should instead be on creating relevancy and trust?   Trust? Yes Trust – more on that another time : )

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