When a deadline looms before you, and you feel the walls caving in, what do you do? Even if you aren’t responsible for the delay, anxiety can easily take control.
Recently, my husband was in a panic attack over a deadline. He was only responsible for one section of a report, which he completed as scheduled. On the very afternoon of the date it was due, he found the various sections dumped in his lap. Every one else was tied up with assignments. Compiling the report was up to him.
After a long day your brain is like mush. Trying to wrap up an assignment is like trying to jot down creative thoughts in the dark. You do it, but you have no idea what direction it will take, or what it will look like in a new light.
He worked with another colleague, and then he called up the group manager to explain the situation. She said, “This isn’t cancer. Your house isn’t on fire. You aren’t dying. You tried your best, and if we can’t get it submitted in time, we hand it in the next day. This is not your fault.”
Those were wise words.
We need to set priorities in our lives to know what matters and what does not. We need to de-stress and try to find the right balance in our lives.
Time management is important when there are many factors influencing the day. Creative folks, especially, need to make an effort to prioritize their schedules. As much as we want to run with the wind, we need guidance and a gentle reminder to stay on course. Too much control is stifling, but too little control leads to idle behaviour and unproductive hours.
Taking on too many assignments is likewise poor planning. Only you know yourself best. Give yourself a challenge, but make it an achievable one. Keep in contact about deadlines, and be fair to those relying on you. If it takes you slightly longer than expected, that is fine as long as you tried your best. By the end you will have learned something else about yourself: your value. Don’t think in terms of end products. Think in terms of process. Each journey is full of inspiration, and as you move along, your world expands along with you.