Deadline Adrenaline – Friend or Foe?

Who hasn’t worked on projects and experienced deadline adrenaline? That physiological rush of fear and dread mixed with anticipation and excitement as a key deadline approaches.

Through Core PA’s many years helping organisations deliver their projects and programs, we’ve seen many teams and people, ourselves included, succumb to deadline stress. We’ve also noticed how deadlines can strengthen the resolve to get things done.

So, is deadline adrenaline friend or foe, help or hindrance?

Deadline stress is often caused by the reality of what needs to be done in the usually impossible timeframe allocated. Some tools and techniques to manage deadlines stress are to:

  • get yourself organised,
  • clarify priorities, and
  • leverage those around you – delegate, manage upwards

Whether placed upon you, or your own doing, deadline adrenaline is really only ever a thrill when you’re achieving suitable output and outcomes. The rush of an imminent deadline can heighten our senses,  increase our focus and you may find yourself more efficient than ever thinking ‘why can’t I be this good all the time’.

The caution is of course even if it looks good and feels good, it might not be sustainable. Back-to-back deadlines or prolonged periods of managing tight timeframes, can be a burden. Most people in projects probably do get a kick out of a looming deadline, it’s just one aspect of what keeps them coming back.

If it’s healthy, not interfering with your life and mentality, and you are delivering outcomes then power on, you might just be getting the balance right. But if it’s not, then there is no shame in recognising that and taking some steps to reduce deadline stress. One thing in projects that is fairly certain is that you will have a deadline or two. Most projects are hectic and each one is different but don’t let them break you.

Reach out to us by clicking on the Contact button at the top of this page to learn more about how Core Project Advisory avoids and manages deadline stress.