regarding deadline panic

I have a lot to do before I leave for Phoenix tomorrow. I have to prepare my setlist for my show (this includes building a slideshow, which I've never done before. I'm terrified I'm going to screw it up, so of course I waited until the last minute to do it, because the stress of not knowing how to do it properly goes oh-so-well with the stress of not having enough time to get it done).

I have to finish making my DVDs. I have to pack up all my books and drop them off to be shipped (which I should have done on Monday, but didn't, because … well, I don't know exactly why, to be honest. I just didn't, and now it's Wednesday and I get to pay too much to ship them 2-day air. Yay.)

I'm also way past a writing deadline on this project that seemed like a good idea when I said yes, but has become a fucking albatross about my neck.

So I realized, just now, that my brain has activated OMG DEADLINE SURVIVAL mode. This means that I listen to Pink Floyd and The Beatles on repeat, tune out the rest of the world (except when I'm doing stupid things to amuse myself and stay sane online) and just sort of plow through things more-or-less on autopilot.

It's interesting to me that the deadline panic feels the same, and comes from the same place, whether I need to get something out of my head and onto the page, or whether I need to get a lot of somethings out of my house and shipped to a con.

24 thoughts on “regarding deadline panic”

  1. “I have to pack up all my books and drop them off to be shipped (which I should have done on Monday, but didn’t, because … well, I don’t know exactly why, to be honest.”
    Was it perhaps due to a “Momentary Lapse of Reason”?

  2. Don’t worry Wil, we will all be very excited to see you whether you are ready or not. I know I’m excited to see you. But I do think you procrastinate because you love the adrenaline rush of panicking. lol And sometimes life just gets in the way of things.

  3. The line about the setlist and waiting until the last minute to do it explains just what’s going on in my head with a paper I’m trying and failing to write at the moment (not quite sure where to find the data I need to write it, don’t want to miss something obvious and important and wind up sounding like an idiot – I’ll just wait ’til the last minute to do it). Thanks for explaining it to me, I feel so much better now! (and also for providing an entertaining distraction from not writing my paper.)

  4. I know all too well how you’re feeling! I’m in the middle of my exams at the end of my first year of university and the panic is well and truly setting in…

  5. My dissertation is due in on Friday and I’m nowhere near done. Fortunately, I haven’t cracked under the pressure! Not that graduating really matters to me; after all, I’m a helicopter.

  6. I think the running late on deadlines thing is in the air. Or perhaps the universe since I’m in the PNW and not exactly sharing your air but I am certainly behind on a million things I have to do over the next few days. I have faith we’ll both (all?) get it done. :-)

  7. Don’t tell a scientist something about deadlines ;-)
    But was it on purpose to write about a sort of panic on Towel Day?
    (I have to deliver a short presentation/film about Gamma Astronomy by Friday – but it’s fun :-)

  8. Hey, Wil, are you out for Gen Con this year? They haven’t announced any big name guests of honor yet, so I’m wondering if there aren’t any.

  9. “Wil, you’ve switched off your blogging computer! What’s wrong?!”
    “Nothing! I’m alright!”
    “Use the Force, Wil…”
    Happy Anniversary!

  10. It doesn't look like it, unfortunately. I think GenCon isn't interested in having me appear two years in a row.

  11. *waves* Hello Wil! I’m new around here… Anyways, regardless of if GenCon wants you back or not, I know a lot of ppl would be pretty stoked if you were there (myself included). I’ve never been unfortunately but I’m debating going this year. Good luck with your deadlines!

  12. I really wish I lived near Phoenix, as seeing you perform would be so very awesome (plus, I totally wish I could buy one of the complete works of you!). I hope you were able to get everything done without stressing out too much! I tend to save things for the absolute last minute too…..hence the reason I just recently started editing and burning DVD copies of my sons’ basketball games to distribute to the rest of their team!

  13. You’ll do it, Wil! (In fact, since I’m about 2,000 items behind in Google Reader, you probably already have :) ) For future reference, I highly recommend Neil Fiore’s book “The Power of Now”, which finally helped me beat my own issues with procrastination and work stress. Dude understands our inability to do the things we really want to do better than anyone I’ve encountered :)

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