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Saturday, 19 September 2020

Working Under Deadline - A Curse and An Inspiration. -by Meenu Ahuja


DEADLINES. Nothing abnormal about the word, right? And yet, deadlines are one of the major reasons causing stress for more than 50% of the working population across the globe.

The Cambridge dictionary defines DEADLINES as “a time or day by which something must be done”. This is a concept used by every firm/employer in order to fulfill the client needs as well as boost the productivity of their employees. But what we fail to understand as a human being is that Deadlines may sometimes kill the productivity as well as the efficiency of the task at hand.

What can be the possible thoughts while working under stress? Let’s have a look at some of them -

·         Fear of losing the job

·         Fear of underperformance when compared to the peers

·         Fear of losing the client

·         Fear of a poor review/feedback leading to decreased bonus and increment percentage

·         Fear of not being able to climb the ladder

·         Fear of not being enough

If a person is stressed about the deadlines at work, it will not just show in his/her professional growth but will also affect his/her personal aspects of life and vice versa. All these fears mentioned above, can lead to a person being underconfident about themselves, in self-doubt and can in fact tire one to an extent that they might get completely demotivated to work efficiently and even be indifferent towards anything they do in life.

This might not seem like a very serious issue, but it is something that can escalate all the other issues in one’s life.

So, what is the solution to this?

·         If you’re an employer, some of the things that you can consider are –

o   Before finalizing and committing to a new project, discuss about it with the assigned team and set up some realistic and reasonable deadlines. This can make the employees feel involved in the project, their contribution more valued and which would in turn result in bringing out their innovations.

o   Consider their personal commitments and figure out a way to work it out so as not to overwork them. This would make them feel significant for you.

o   If there are disagreements about deadlines which cannot be amended, try to help them understand and see the bigger picture and why is the desired results and deadlines important.

o   While giving out the reviews, feedbacks and incentives, make sure they understand that it is all based on the performance (quality of the work majorly) and not on the fast-paced completion of tasks.

While deadlines may at times cut down productivity, they can be equally important at some days.


·         SoIf you’re an employee, some of the things that you can consider while working under deadlines in both the personal as well as professional aspects of your life are –

o   Try to Get at least 8 hours of sleep everyday so as not to feel lethargic the next day which will help you to complete your tasks on or before time.

o   Start creating your to-do lists in order of the urgency of the tasks.

o   If you think the deadlines are unreasonable, talk to your superior and discuss so as to come to a mutual understanding.

o   Start trying to manage your time effectively and make sure to take at least 15-30 minutes break before jumping to the next task at hand.

o   If you’re stuck on something (usually in creative fields), take a break and relax yourself. Maybe take a walk and freshen up your mind, this can help you with innovative ideas.

o   If you find yourself distracted and unable to focus, try to find something that might help you focus. It could be anything like, sitting alone in a room, listening to some kind of music or even a cup of tea/coffee, if you think that helps you. But at the same time, make sure not to intake too much of caffeine or you may end up dependent on it which can turn out to be pretty unhealthy.

o   You might as well have days when you are just procrastinating and don’t feel like doing anything. You can try taking a few hours off work, and get onto doing something that you like to do – could be working out, painting, playing a sport or even an instrument, dancing, etc. Whatever your creative outlet is, can help you get out of your procrastinating self.

o   If you think that anything in your personal or professional life can hinder your tasks, talk about them and convey it to you seniors beforehand.

o   And the most important one is, NEVER EVER keep things hanging till the last minute. Rather complete your tasks first and then you can spend the rest of your time, the way you want to. Keeping things hanging till the last minute can reduce your efficiency and create a lot of stress.


Now that we understand how stressful deadlines can be, let’s start making a change in our lifestyles so that they aren’t stressful anymore but something to look forward and hence our work doesn’t feel like a burden to us. Let’s not be bound by the overworked thoughts of meeting the deadlines, working round the clock and let’s be free of them by managing out time efficiently.

Meenu Ahuja 

About Author: Meenu is a Commerce graduate with an experience of more than 2.5 years in the same field. She is passionate about mental health, Social Psychology and Stigmas with an aspiration to become a Counselor after doing her Masters in Psychology. She loves reading, writing and is a fan of Sitcoms and movies.


  1. Perfectly put into words πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

  2. Nice one like truely Emboldening.
    Keep the grace up!

  3. Perfectly explaining the life of an employee. Hats off!

  4. This is one of the issue which many of us are facing in our lives.One can over come with his/her stress by reading this.Easily relatable.Keep up the good work πŸ™‚πŸ™‚

  5. Being a teacher and during this pandeamic we are going through heavy workload like online classes and many other things which are going on.This will help me in reducing the stress/burden..Keep up the good work😊😊

    1. Sending love and strength. You're doing the best. 🌼

  6. Well researched and well written. Keep it up meenuπŸ€™

  7. Well done meenu. . Love to read more from you😊

  8. Well presented. Keep it up. My best wishes are with you my child. Any further assistance/ guidance will be appriciated.

  9. Awesome...well articulated!!!

  10. Working under a deadline is really a difficult task. You need to drink a cup of tea after every two hours to stay fresh. That's how you can focus on your work.