Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Working on Deadline

A glimpse into my life - I work at a seasonal day job and we are now in high season.  I am on deadline this week, and while I've tried to get in some writing time, there are certain times of the year where my focus has to be laser sharp.  This week is one of them (which means my imagination is a bit blocked in order to earn my paycheck).

Working on deadline can be interesting.  Everyone is in a panic - "Will we get it all done?" Generally, we do. Adrenalin starts pumping, people push themselves to their limits, and beyond. Every year is a little bit different in terms of how much work comes in ahead of schedule and how much of it pushes to the last minute. Don't misunderstand, there is always a lot of work that pushes to the last minute, but sometimes . . . sometimes they actually do plan ahead. This year seems to be moving smoothly (hence the time to write a blog post). However, late last night I got a panicked email asking how many of my staff would be available to work how many hours to meet the deadline. Same staff we have every year, same staff we always meet the deadline with, in fact, I have additional staff this year. Calm heads actually make it easier to accomplish the deadline. Panic generally slows the pace and upsets the people involved. We are in better shape than we've been in some previous years, but panic is an almost essential element to deadlines. I used to panic. The powers that be seem to think panic kicks up the adrenalin and pushes people past their limits. Me? I already work at a very fast pace, so kicking it up a gear overheats my engine. For one of the supervisors who works under me, kicking up the adrenalin short circuits her brain.  We have capable people in place to meet the demands, race horses that will get to the finish line without the use of whips.

My role today is to be the voice of calm. Reason. We are pushing through the work easily. Deadline is tomorrow. Unless they back up a dump truck and bury us, I think we'll get through this one just fine, thank you.

Update on the new book - Mist on the Meadow will likely be available the first of April. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes - you have a pressure cooked day job too. You are amazing. When I worked under pressure in my working days, I worked at top speed, but I am one who can not keep up that pace for long. By the time the deadline was over, I was exhausted. I always found that the people who created the deadline were also the ones getting their stuff in late too!!