5 Ways to Reduce Stress About Tight Deadlines

Tight Deadlines

We all have tight deadlines in our life, whether it is making bill payments or completing work projects on time. You will notice, however, that deadlines do not have the same effect on everyone. Some people seem to stress out at the slightest time pressure, whereas others are able to remain calm in even the tensest of moments.

Some even love the idea of a deadline, knowing that it keeps them on track and gives them something to aim for.

What if you could take back the power from your tight deadlines ? What if time was your friend, rather than your enemy? Here are a few tips that you can follow so that you can reduce the stress associated with your impending deadline.

1. Listen to your body, it gives you clues

When we are facing time deadlines our bodies will speak to us. The cortisol levels increase due to the stress and tension builds in the body. So many people have been conditioned to the ongoing tension that they do not even see it as a problem.

Now I know that I should take better care of myself when I am under intense deadline...or my body is going to act in certain ways that aren’t good. ~ Tyra Banks (Tweet this)

When you feel tension rise in a particular muscle or body part, tense it a little tighter for 4 or 5 seconds and then relax. Changing your physiology can help change your state of mind. Ignoring the messages of your body can lead to long-term issues. Remember to take care of yourself when you are under tight deadlines.

2. Don’t let deadlines take you out of the NOW moment

Now is really all we have, but we can miss so many of life’s joyful moments when we are focused solely on a deadline that looms over us at some future moment.

As much as you deal with the tight deadlines of the future, take some time to be present to the events of now. Moments of joy can lift your spirits when undertaking other projects, so give them your full attention.

It’s ironic that at age 32, at probably the greatest moment of my career, with the Godfather having such huge success, I wasn’t even aware of it, because I was somewhere else under the deadline again. ~ Francis Ford Coppola (Tweet this)

Emotions such as anger, guilt and shame can cloud your thought processes, so being present to and releasing them will help you have the energy you need to direct towards your projects. You could be critical of a relationship in your life and that misdirected energy may be sapping the potential you have to meet your deadline. It may seem unrelated but dealing with the lower energy vibrations helps out in unknown ways.

3. Transmute the fear and tension through love and attention

As the deadline starts to get closer you may find yourself failing to take any action at all, paralyzed by the overwhelm or fear of not completing what needs to be done. You look at the date and the clock and the fear and tension starts to rise in your belly. From this place everything may seem impossible, the list may seem endless and you start to panic.

This is not conducive to getting the task done, it is an old fight or flight response granted to us from our ancestors. The key is to alleviating the fear that you feel.

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. ~ Albert Einstein (Tweet this)

The first step is accepting that are actually aware of your fear. Sure, you are a warrior and you desire to be fearless, but it until we admit our fears to ourselves we cannot conquer them.

Feel into the fear, what is it telling you? What will happen if you do not make that deadline? Is that true? Even if it was true what is the worst that can happen? Acknowledging the worst that can happen is enough to soothe our anxiety.

4. Be aware of the messages you are telling yourself about the time in your day and how they affect your well-being

For many people it is the story that “there is not enough time in the day”. What are your beliefs about time, or the lack of it, in your life? Be open to hearing the answer throughout your day. We are all given the same number of hours in the day, but we all have choices in the way that we spend our time.

If you have a deadline to meet then perhaps it is time to budget the hours and minutes of the day to a certain extent.

  • What activities take priority in your life?
  • How much time are you investing in time wasting activities such as computer gaming or watching TV that does not help your life in any way?
  • How many activities do you undertake that could be delegated to someone else in a way that frees up more time for you.

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.~ William Penn (Tweet this)

When you believe that there is not enough time to meet a deadline, your mind will create ways and opportunities for making this a reality.

5. Do what you can do

Some of the work related to your deadline will rely on the support of others, others who may not be quite as punctual or committed as you. Going postal on your coworkers is not likely the best way to approach this. Doing what you can do is the way forward.

Say you have a bill to pay and you have no idea where the money is going to come from or if you will be able to get it on time. Worrying is praying for what you don’t want, so start asking a new question of yourself. “What can I do to make the money I need?” You may not get an answer straight away, but stay present and you will hear something you may not expect. When you hear it, act upon it.

So ask yourself, “what can I do?”, allow for answers to come to you, and act upon what you feel or hear. Tight deadlines don’t have to kill us, they can be teachers that inspire us to truly know ourselves and grow.

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About the Author

Matthew Ashdown, with fellow GratiDude, Brad Morris, launched the Gratitude Dance video in 2007 and enjoyed co-hosting the VoiceAmerica.com radio show "Manifesting Awesomeness". His Masters degree in Aerospace engineering helps him combine his passion for science and exploration of the outer world with his exploration of the inner world.

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