Thursday, January 03, 2013


The holidays messed me up this week. The deadline for my newspaper column is Thursday at noon. In all the years I've written for the paper, I've only been late one time and that was after the tornadoes slammed through our area and blew my power to South Carolina. We didn't have electricity for almost two weeks, so the editor cut me a little slack.
But this week, I've worked on goals and intentions for 2013, I've worked on my vision board, and I've eaten till I almost spewed. The only thing I didn't do is work on my column.
It hit me yesterday that it was Wednesday and that my column was due today.
When I'm not under pressure, ideas swarm around me like flies at a barbecue. But at other times when I procrastinate, it's almost as though I can hear the deadline whistling at me like a fastball, and ideas get scarce.
Some people work better under pressure, but "I ain't one of them folks."
I got up extra early this morning and snorted a line of dark-roast coffee before I locked myself in my office.
I opened my MacBook, shoved my headphones first-knuckle deep into my ears, cranked up my Focus mp3 and got down to business.
I tapped keys for a while and then decided to scroll back through recent blog entries to see if anything resonated.
I stopped on the blog entry I wrote in mid-December about the end of the world prediction by the Mayans.
All of a sudden, the creative gates opened and the words flowed. I had the first draft by the time our new Cuisinart gurgled out the last few drops of coffee. I heard Jilda's feet hit the floor and when she came through the bedroom door, her first words (as they always are) was COFFEEEEEEEEEEEE.
The freshly laser-printed column was still warm when I laid it on her lap. After her second cup of coffee, she found her glasses and proofed my work. A few minutes later my editor had a copy in her inbox.
I've already made a list of ideas for next week because I don't like it when it comes down to crunch time.
So my question to you is this: Do you work better under pressure, or do you function better when the dogs aren't nipping at your heels?  I could use some advise for the next time I wait till the last minute to write.


  1. Rick! great! Many satisfying chuckles were uttered by me as I read this enjoyable report of your panic and how you handled it. Now I am anxious to read the article regarding the Mayans. Mmmm, what will be said?

    Best to you and Jilda!

  2. oh - oops. I work best under pressure.

  3. I work better when there is no pressure at all!

  4. I am a get-er-done kinda gal. I pre-plan and like to have my work in order long before it is due. I do great creative work when under pressure but I prefer to have a plan all laid out beforehand. I am one of those people that is always early for an appointment and I don't like to keep people waiting. I am married the the exact it has made for some interesting conversations over the years. lol

    That being said, I have been one step off all week- I wonder why God would ever play a trick like having a Holiday land on a Tuesday. I am going to have to have a little chat with Him about screws blonds up!

    Blessings to you and your wife- Diana

  5. lol Oh I don't like Nipping dogs lol

    Even for my blog I can sit down to write one and then end up writing 5 so I am way ahead of the game. Then all I have to do every day is check it See what I want to add in or cut out. Maybe I have more things more input. Whatever.Then other times something happens in the world and I get into talk mood so I bump what I have for another time but then I have something else to write to replace it with.
    I am a horrible person when it comes to dead lines.
    I always like to be ahead.
    My husband also worked for a guy who wanted everything yesterday. You learn to work fast and efficiently. Then you come out west and people are so laid back you suffer because everything takes much tooo long. lol

  6. I constantly have deadlines to meet in our home office for our dairy farm. I like to have my work done on time with plenty of time to spare but I also work well under pressure. I guess it depends in what frame of mind I'm in.

  7. I'm glad you made your deadline. I hate deadlines so much that I was ready to blow in a paper bag, just reading the first part of your plight.

  8. Wow, for me that's a hard question. I guess I do work better under pressure.


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