We all must says, time is infinite, it has no end. Well, who is to tell a “deadline “that? There is nothing like a deadline to prove that time too is finite. Every kind of time ends- good or bad. And waiting to meet it at the end is a deadline.
Most of us wait for a deadline to loom large before putting our heads down to completing a task. Most bills get paid on the last date, we rush for meetings at the last minute, and start studying for exams or writing articles when we go no longer put it off. Because we are humans, we find ways to make ourselves feel better. And so we declare, “I work best under pressure. “Or deliver the best against a deadline. A more honest way of saying this possibly would be that you are basically lazy, undisciplined and lack motivation. You do not work best under pressure – when you can no longer put off the task.
With less time on hand, adrenaline kicks in, sending your mind and body into an overdrive. A sudden rush of energy does make one perform better and faster;
It also accelerates learning and absorption. Much like drugs or coffee, working to a deadline can get addictive, because of the rush of energy and the quick relief you get upon completing your task. Staying up all night, managing to complete the seemingly impossible, or compressing the work of a fortnight into two hours can give you a rush that you want repeatedly. Also, as experts explain, your motivation to reach the finish line increases once it is within sight. So, the closer you are to the deadline, the more motivated you become. The single-minded focus you adopt under pressure helps. Earlier, you had the leisure to think of the difficulties of the task and your disinclination to engage with it. But procrastination is no longer an option. Also now your reputation is at stake.
However, it isn’t possible to deliver the best under stress all the time. Though good in situations of emergency, continuous high levels of stress hormones can have detrimental effects on physical and mental health- leading to anxiety disorders, heart problems and high blood pressure apart from affecting memory over the long term. So, though working with a rush of adrenaline may seem to enhance your speed and performance, at best it just gives a glimpse of how much better you could do if only you could motivate yourself to focus and work consistently.
You are prepared for war now, where as earlier a peacetime process could have achieved the same task for more efficiently with better quality.