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What is it about last minute that focuses the mind?

I recently had the experience of planning for a move and I gave myself sufficient time. However, two weeks before the move it dawns on me that for a whole host of reasons a later moving date would be preferable to the one I chose. By then of course the original date was locked in with at least one of the players involved and this caused upset and breakdown. Angry people.

Why is it that I only really focus my mind on an important event when it’s too late to make any changes? Or the changes then come at great cost. What causes this and how to deal with it?

Can it be avoided?

Probably not completely. Information becomes richer the closer to a deadline, and things always become clearer. Also, new and unforeseen situations arise the closer to the deadline.

Nice to know, but how to deal with it?

I would say that the process of making changes to a plan/agreement should be agreed by all parties involved. A period of “tentativeness” should be agreed to, and a “point-of-no-return” should be stuck in the ground. In my particular moving story, this point-of-no-return was two weeks out, but because this was never discussed all parties (including me) felt that the date communicated six weeks out was the firm date.

Changing it because “Ooops, I just realized it’s my cat’s birthday,” just doesn’t cut it with people who have made their own arrangements.

What’s my point? Well, living your life as a practice involves practices of planning, as well as exercising integrity. If you don’t plan well, you’re going to pay a price. While breaking your word may be expedient, in the long run it will ruin people’s willingness to work or even play with you. Better you suck it up, and stick to your original agreement. Let the pain be a reminder to you of the importance of bringing your FULL attention to planning.