• Anna D

What Can Deadline Fear Actually Teach Us?

It's that time of year when the semesters are coming to an end, and the dreaded deadlines are on the horizon. Deadlines can be intimidating: having a specific date and time which can dictate your academic progress is a lot to take in but using deadline fear to our advantage can benefit us in ways we never knew existed.


Having spent the majority of this semester online, deadlines have crept up on me much quicker than they did in pre-covid days and I’m one of many that have found it hard to keep on track of them. This causes an immeasurable amount of stress, and when I'm stressed, my work turns out to be of worse quality than I hoped for. Accompanied with the initial deadline stress, then comes the anxieties about my work not being up to standard. It's hard to remain rational when you're confronted with deadline fear, but the end goal is worth it.


Deadline Fear can be turned into Productivity? Pft...


One important thing to bear in mind is that stress can be turned into productivity. To do this, you need to remember that perspective is essential. When you become stressed over one thing, you're likely to find every other task just as stressful as the one with the pressing deadline, be it menial or big. Having perspective will allow you to prioritise the more pressing assignments over others while keeping a positive mindset. Simplifying your to-do list in this way will make it that bit easier to remain motivated.


Whilst you may spend this productive period overcome with fear and stress, there is a sense of accomplishment when you have completed your task. This short burst of motivation gives you the encouragement to complete more tasks than you initially set out to complete, or at least causes the realisation that you don't want to have the deadline fear again, establishing goals to start assignments earlier.


A way to cope with deadline fear is to plan your time carefully. Whether that is a calendar, a planner, a to-do list, there are plenty of ways to keep track of your time. I find that having my to-do list in a physical form where I can tick off tasks and break assignments down into more manageable tasks is most helpful. This makes me feel less stressed as I am micromanaging my own time and setting myself realistic daily targets.


What can Deadline Fear teach us in the long haul?


To not doubt yourself: The way you approach stressful situations, such as deadline stress, is incredibly indicative of your personality. There's only so much editing you can do to an assignment before you have to say enough is enough, and having this understanding of yourself can build your self-esteem in the long haul. Your own body will know when to stop for the sake of the assignment and your health; don't doubt yourself. This will only give you more confidence in yourself to tackle future stressors.


To be more creative: If you're a perfectionist, you'll know that everything you write will be done with caution under an 'overthinker' mentality. Working under pressure will only add to a very stressful situation for you, but it also might unleash your imagination. Allowing you to think of ideas that you didn't know were there before, without having the time to overthink other ways you could have done it.


To be More resilient: Deadlines are understandably stressful but knowing there is a goal at the end gives you the means to push through it. Having the acknowledgement that stressful situations are temporary makes you more resilient to setbacks and gives you the confidence to take more risks.


As a student myself, I know how deadlines can hit you hard and fast, but do not let your stress take over your university experience. When it comes down to it, it's temporary stress that comes at the price of 3 years worth of memories and a degree.

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