Looming Deadlines

Marcia Purse Health Guide
  • Health-wise, this has been perhaps the worst year I've ever had. Serious illnesses in February, April and July left me weakened for several months after that, and depressions coincided with or overlapped the physical issues. Needless to say, my work suffered.


    When you're a freelancer as I am, you don't have the luxury of taking a leave of absence from work - not if you want to get paid. I struggled to meet my quotas each month, not always succeeding. Other less crucial work simply didn't get done at all.


    Then December dropped on my head like I hadn't known it was coming: Surprise! Here I am! Last month of the year!

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    I still have my monthly quotas. But now the work that was swept away in the maelstrom of physical and mental illnesses has to be done. All of it. By December 31st.


    I asked some readers what they do when they have deadlines looming and a huge amount of work to do. Some of the answers I got:

    • "I pick one thing and do that, telling myself I'll only do it for 15 minutes. Usually I have it done in less time than that, or else I'm into it and get it done. Do that a couple of times, and then nap as a reward."

    • "I get overwhelmed, panic, and shut down. I don't work well with little time and deadlines. That's why I have to get things started very early, so I have time to breathe, and take it a little at a time. If it all comes at me in one big lump, it's over. I can't do anything, and then NOTHING gets done."

    • "I panic and get stressed out until I wanna run away from it all."

    • "I take a deep breath and remember I can only do one thing at a time...I tend to be a procastinator!"

    • "I try to decide if there is anything that can be done by someone else and ask if anyone is willing to help me out."

    • "I try to prioritize and cut out anything that's not absolutely necessary."

    • "Half the time I probably just ignore it and take a nap...and then it will be time for bed."

    Fortunately I respond fairly well to deadlines, although this one is, I have to admit, a nasty situation. I'm busting my butt, giving up playtime, giving up housework, giving up eating (almost), all to keep working. I'll get it done - somehow.


    What about you? When a deadline is coming up, what happens to you? Do you rise to the occasion, freak out, give up, face it with calm good sense, or something else? And do you meet deadlines?

Published On: December 12, 2012