Deadlines make me happy and keep me sane

By simply putting a date to an assignment, all my troubles seem to wash away

The clock is ticking, but I am at ease. Even as the time dwindles down, I am coasting along.

I only have one more read through left. Four more minutes to go. Just click submit and it’ll all be over. As 11:59 p.m. strikes, the only thing that matters is I got the assignment in by the deadline. 

Like most, I’m a procrastinator by nature. When given the chance, I will put off doing just about anything until the very last minute. 

Take freelance work for example. Oh, there’s no due date? Have fun getting it back in 47 years. I’m not lazy per se — I just would rather do something more interesting like finish binge-watching "Dragula."

Thanks to my unproductive habits, I’ve come to love deadlines. They keep me sane and on track with what I have to do. 

During high school, I remember constantly begging my teachers to push back schoolwork. But they always stressed how once I got to college and then eventually entered the “real world,” no one was going to change just to fit what I wanted — boy, were they right. 

In nearly two weeks, I go home for winter break. But before this long and much needed reprieve, I have four stories, two essays and three exams due. 

On the inside, I am freaking out — how am I ever going to finish all of these tasks before then? On the outside, I remain calm, cool and collected. I have deadlines on my side to get me through this excruciating labor. 

By simply putting a date to an assignment, all my troubles seem to wash away. It puts my work into perspective — I know when I have to get it done by and am able to prep how I will accomplish it.

Deadlines force my creativity to flow. If I'm given a time constraint, my brain is forced to focus, and I tend to come up with my best ideas under pressure.

Not too long ago, my plans for an article fell through. I couldn’t secure an interview, and I had less than 24 hours to change my idea. I was stressed as all heck, but while in that anxiety-filled pressure cooker, I managed to create a story I loved and was proud of. 

Once I’m past the drafting phase, it’s full speed ahead. The end of the finish line is so close I can taste it, I just have to be alert.  

There have been times where I missed deadlines. I accepted defeat for whatever reason, but it wasn’t the end of the world.

I've forgotten to study for tests, and on a couple of occasions it's only when I've walked into class did I realize my mistake. And even as I cried in my seat knowing I would not do as well as if I had studied, I sucked in a breath and began to fill in the scantron bubbles.   

Each new deadline is a learning experience — they teach me a lot about who I am. My eyes are bigger than my stomach, and I don’t just mean in terms of food. I put a lot on my plate when it comes to school, extracurriculars, friends and family, and deadlines help keep me in check.

Deadlines remind me I’m a measly human being who can only do so much without getting burnt out. They bring me back to reality and keep my priorities in check.

They help me balance all the chaos in my life. 

Without them, I do not know where I would be — probably curled up in a ball somewhere surrounded by crumpled up papers. 


Reach the reporter at omunson@asu.edu and follow @munson_olivia on Twitter. 

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