The bane of my existence but also my most important muse. Deadlines cause a lot of stress in my life, but without them I would be stuck in creative hell, constantly waiting for inspiration. Though we tend to give them a lot of grief, deadlines are a necessary evil.

If you are a procrastinator, than deadlines really are terrifying. It’s the day before your big presentation and you haven’t even started yet. You wake up in a cold sweat, anxiously chewing on pens all day as you stumble your way through. The minutes tick by as your stomach tightens until the ultimate release when you finally have a working product on-time. A giant sigh and you are out the door to hopefully make it to the meeting on time. That’s when you promise yourself that you will never wait to the last second again.

Correction: that’s when you lie to yourself. Because on the very next deadline, you do the exact same thing.

I don’t think it’s out of some sadomasochist fetish. I think it’s just our brain prioritizing, sometimes in a way that isn’t as healthy. We tend to get creative when we have to and scheduling inspiration is never really plausible.

Routines are very helpful, as long as you don’t become overly dependent on them. But the deadline, the ever looming deadline, is what really spurs us on. Perhaps it’s a vestigial remainder of our evolution. A deep seeded, communal memory of being hunted. Time ticks on for us all.

Don’t fear the deadline, embrace it. But break it up into smaller deadlines to harness its power more efficiently. That way we can avoid the cold sweats the day before it’s all due.

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