Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Deadlines: Love 'em or Hate 'em?

I am working like a fiend this week to prepare for the biggest test of my life.
I am taking the comprehensive final on Friday for my Master's Degree in Education. Here's the kicker; they can test me on any of the course work that I have studied in the last two years while pursuing this degree. I am TERRIFIED!!!!!

As Jean mentioned on Monday, we got our requested materials all submitted plus I actually had a weekend at home to get some 4th grade work caught up. I even had a chance to straighten up my nest so that my world would be orderly for my week of study.

Then Monday night the panic hit! I have a three page paper using five references due Saturday by 8:00 p.m. In order to feel like I have prepared for the exam I need to read about 500 pages of text before Friday, PLUS create answers to all twelve of the study guide questions. Questions, I might add, that require both enormous and gigantic answers. Number 4 alone is 3 pages of notes--not sentences, just notes and there are eleven more that are just as scary. To say that I am OUT of my mind is putting it mildly.

Monday night as I lay wide awake in bed, I thought to myself that really this is all about a deadline. Often I use the adrenaline brought on by working at the last minute to push myself to higher achievement. Writing the paper this week is an example of that. I am using that deadline to motivate me into getting some other things done so I can focus on making sure that I finish in time. The deadline of being ready for the final, on the other hand, feels totally different and much more panicky. So I have to ask myself, "What makes the two deadlines so different?" I don't really have an answer other than it probably has something to do with control. I control the work for the paper and have very specific perimeters in which to create it. On the other hand, the comprehensive exam feels more like a crap shoot and I hate to gamble. Really. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that the only game I play at the fair is "Pick Up Ducks" because every duck is a winner.

How do you deal with deadlines? Do you love them because they push you to accomplish more or hate them because they force you to complete things that you don't feel ready for? Or is it a mixture of the two?


  1. It's hard for me to work without a deadline, though I will self impose one.

  2. I usually work well under pressure but I'm not good about imposing my own.

    Good luck with your exam, Stephanie. All will be well.

  3. I don't mind deadlines. What I do mind is if I am working with someone else on a deadline and I have to drag them along. I want it done and finished ahead of schedule. Drives people crazy. I hope one day I will find out what it's like to have a book deadline- that should drive me crazy as others who have worked with me will tell you I so justly deserve.

  4. Deadlines are helpful in motivating the 'butt in chair' tactic. I think they work in your favor as long as you keep them in sight. When the blinders go down however, it's tempting to put something off for another day. You can base your actions on a variety of excuses but in the end all you will have to show for it is a blank page when it comes to writing.

    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work, or allowing life to get in the way of your goal can set you back instead of move you forward.

    The best thing to do in order to maintain deadlines is to work toward that goal every single day. It's amazing how much you can get done if you take small steps toward your goal.

    Best of luck, Stephanie! I know you will do extremely well because I'm confident that you've prepared yourself for this moment. ;)

  5. Jean- I am always happy to help you impose a deadline. :-)

    Crystal-Thanks for the good wishes. I bet you always make your deadlines. :-)

    Cheryl-Ah, I love to work with other people who like to get things done and out of the way before the last minute. I used to be one of those people and look forward to it again when this extra school work is over!
    I am sure you will have a book deadline one day and the way things are looking for you it will be sooner rather than later!

    Kathy-You make a great point that the work and the play must be balanced. I have worked hard this week to prepare for tomorrow but I am taking the weekend off!
    Hope you are having a good visit with your son!

  6. How did the test go, Stephanie? I'm eager to hear your news and wish you a fantastic weekend. :)