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November 22, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship with Deadlines

In this post, Tavia discusses her relationship with deadlines…

Tavia Gavinski | Web & DigitalDeadlines. Where do I begin? Let me start here: I don’t like them. They loom like a thick dark cloud over my head, pressuring me to get the job done. In this line of work, deadlines are a given. They happen everyday. Each morning, I go over my list of projects and get direction on what is due first. And then the work begins.

I am constantly trying to hit the mark, not only with time, but with the right design. If I miss a deadline, I have to explain why. Maybe a more urgent project came in. Or maybe the creative process took longer then I anticipated. Consequently, my coworkers are affected, because they can’t complete their portion of the job. When projects and deadlines pile up, I sometimes feel overwhelmed.

This past week I was met with a little extra time and some breathing room with deadlines that were not as urgent as past weeks. I thought to myself that it would be a great time to get ahead on some internal projects as well as a bit of professional development. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out as well as I thought it would, and I got to thinking about why. I realized that I had too much time in between projects. Time to be sidetracked. Time to not stay on task.
Here’s the thing: I like deadlines. They push me. They give my workday structure. And if I don’t have them, I have a harder time staying focused. I thrive on knowing exactly when a project is due. I like having a list and checking things off. And I love the feeling of accomplishment when I send out an email knowing a project has been done on time. So although the amount of deadlines can sometimes get overwhelming throughout a workday, I’m glad I have them to keep me on my toes.