A Tale of Two Wheels
Let me begin this tale by expressing my love for riding bikes. I love the wind in my hair, being outside and finding neat spots to explore. When I was in high school, I would be out for hours just riding my bike around town even though I had a license and a car. An added bonus is I am getting exercise while I ride. The bottom line is I feel accomplished when I get to a destination by bike as opposed to by car.
So one day, I mentioned to my fellow web designer that I was thinking about riding my bike to work sometimes. Well I got a big laugh in my face because he knew I live about 12 miles away from our central Phoenix advertising agency. Although I’d have to leave earlier to get to work in the morning, I loved the idea of starting my day off with a bike ride instead of frustrated in traffic. So we made a bet. The bet was for me to ride to and from work 32 times from November until April 1st. And the winner would get $100.
I acted confident as we shook on it, but I had made this bet before I had actually tried riding to work one time (let alone 32!) - and I really wasn’t sure if I could do it or not. However, something about having a deadline really pushed me forward. I scheduled out how many days each week I had to ride (which was about twice a week) and gave myself some weeks off for holidays. Some days I woke up and was just way too tired to get on my bike and ride; I would have to make up for those days by adding an additional day to another week. My most helpful tool was a spreadsheet I used to track everything. As I got closer, I began a countdown for how many rides left I had until I would hit my goal.
I’m happy to say that I did reach my goal - and with an extra 3 days to spare! Along the way, there were some interesting mishaps like almost running over a dog and crashing, as well as running over my favorite pair of sunglasses. These made sticking with it pretty challenging and the stories definitely entertained my co-workers. But all in all, it was a very rewarding and pleasant experience. Plus I made $100 - yippee!
So what’s the moral of the story? My biggest take-away is that deadlines are important. As much as I love riding my bike, I also love sleep and I never would have done all those commuter bike rides without a deadline to meet. This is important to remember in a lot of situations. Create deadlines for yourself (or someone else) to finish something and set a goal to finish it by that date. Here at Avenue25, we deal with deadlines as an advertising agency for client projects every day. When we have a hard deadline from a marketing client for a website design, our graphic designers, website designers and website developers work as a team to meet our goal. In cases without hard deadlines, we create these targets to keep our designers and developers motivated, energized and focused. And believe me, it works!