Coping with deadlines: Arc-style
Deadline.Noun: the latest time or date by which something should be completed.
If it’s a day that ends in “y”, chances are: we’re on deadline. Despite finding ourselves here so often, we still (naively) imagine that the best line of defense is ignoring it and hoping it goes away.
More often than not however, we’ve found that this only works for about five minutes. Or until our Boss of Everything, Anna, shouts at us.
Understandably, we’ve had to come up with some sophisticated coping strategies. Research into this complex issue shows that we are not alone. Apparently, if you work – you have deadlines.
So, employing some really out-of-the-box thinking and innovation, we’ve become (sort of) well versed in the scientific methods of coping with deadlines.
The fine print: We can’t make promises about the actual efficacy of these methods, but the fun is in the trying…
Strategy 1: Analyse the situation, how bad is it really?
“Not very. At least I’m not transporting mobile toilets for a living…”
Driekie, art director
“Step back and look at the big picture – but be careful, stepping back too far might lead you down a rabbit hole from which there is no escaping. Signs of this would be: What if we just ignored the budget? or I know it’s not in scope of work but it would require a complete systems/website rebuild to work…”
Estelle, account manager
Strategy 2: Always have a plan B
“I make lists upon lists that I update weekly and tick off. Failing that, copious amounts of chocolate.”
Leana, account executive
“Bribery, flattery, and refined carbohydrates.”
Cara, account executive
“I routinely remind myself: If I happen to get hit by a car on the way home and am hospitalised, someone else will just have to do it…”
Amy, senior copywriter
“Is the deadline really not achievable? Consider the client’s other work in the system and whether these might take a backseat. Once reshuffled, I offer personal favours and redeem all outstanding dues. Normally it’s like sliding down a razor blade into a vat of lemon juice.”
Rebecca, account manager
Strategy 3: Seek alternative methods of relaxation
Jane, senior account manager
“We eat cake. And scream at each other. It works.”
Marinda, campaign manager
“I close my eyes and think of my happy place. Then I open my eyes and I walk out the door. And go to my happy place.
That’s a lie. There is no happy place when it comes to deadlines!”
Charlene, content manager