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Deadlines and our Responses

Everything that functions efficiently in today’s society runs on deadlines. Even writing this piece meets a deadline. Deadlines help keep people and companies efficient and productive. On a global level, we need deadlines to create good relations with other countries. While deadlines on their own aren’t stressors, as time goes on, the time leading up to deadlines reduces. When we have less and less time to meet our deadlines, we as people, get more and more stressed. When we fail to meet our deadlines, we likely suffer negative consequences.

Our minds change when we realize that deadlines are approaching. There are different ways people might respond to deadlines. There are three ways I think that people would respond. Some people get motivated and feel determined to meet their deadlines. They may work overtime and do what it takes to complete the task at hand. The second way people may respond is to have an anxious response. In this case, people might feel stress and anxiety to meet a deadline. It takes a negative toll on their overall well-being because of the mental stress they are enduring. Some people may even feel the need to develop coping mechanisms because of the intensity of their feelings. The third way I think people respond is to shut down. For some people, if the anxiety and stress to meet a deadline is too much, they may just stop trying to meet it. They may ignore it or just give up. The motivation to complete what they have to do is gone and would rather face the negative consequences than the mental stress.

Regardless of how people respond to deadlines, I think that there is a similar exhaustion that everyone experiences once the deadline has passed. There is a sense of relief and almost gratitude that the deadline is over regardless of the result. Every round of midterms over this semester, I approached studying for my midterms differently. Even if I felt unprepared, stressed and anxious, right after the exam, I felt a sense of relief. Whether I felt the exams went well or poorly, the exhaustion feels the same. Overall, deadlines have to exist for functionality. The amount of negative response we get from deadlines is based on how we respond to them.

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