Value of Planning Ahead (Avoiding the Dreadline)

Last night at the February Austin Tweetup (Big Ass Twitter Happy Hour, actually), I had a very interesting conversation with @andreaschulle about the different ways that marketing professionals are motivated. You see, 2010 looks to be a heavy trade show and regional event year for Anue Systems, and it has been keeping me on my toes of late, to say the least.

Andrea is one of us who is very comfortable being driven by deadlines. In fact, it motivates her; she even thrives on it in a way. I, on the other hand, am very much the opposite. Deadline? More like dreadline.

Yeah, we laughed a bit when that word organically emerged into the conversation. But this illustrates a very important fact that we all need to keep in mind. Everyone works differently. What motivates one of us can really drag down others. The only thing we have in our arsenal of tools to offset the “dread” feeling comes in the form of planning.

Planning in advance can really help benefit both sorts of folks. For those of us who really thrive by having deadlines toward which to work, planning ahead is a great way to prioritize and schedule those events and activities in a strategic manner. For those of us who prefer to operate more progressively, spreading out the various tasks and requirements over several days or weeks, advanced planning can really turn a dreadline into a more comfortable execution process.

I guess the gist of this post is simple: No matter how you work, plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute. We are not all alike. While you may thrive at the adrenaline rush of the last minute charge for the finish, others are more methodical and calculated. Or maybe you see other procrastinating until the last minute and it makes you worry that things will never get done in time. Regardless which of these profiles suits you, planning helps everyone work together while still getting everything done.

How do you operate? Are you a deadline person, or do you see impending due dates as dreadlines? Have you seen the benefits of planning, or does it just seem like additional busy work?