One of my favorite college professors once made a bold statement that has stuck with me since my freshman year of college. He said, “you have all chosen Journalism as your major for two reasons; one, you hate math and are horrible at it. And two, you are procrastinators and love to work under pressure.” At the time I laughed at the irony of the statement and thought to myself “wow, I’m not the only one.” The first part of that statement couldn’t be more accurate. When I look at numbers or am forced to do a math problem I immediately get anxiety and do my best to steer clear. The second part of that statement, however, has made me think more than a few times.
When I was 18-years-old and analyzing that comment, I figured that it was just something I would grow out of. I was wrong. The pressures of work and just life in general make me get things done. If I don’t have a deadline, the project drags on. If I do have a deadline, the project drags on until the day of or just hours before it’s due. As I breakdown that concept today, I ask myself if that’s a good trait to have or a bad one.
Everyone works under pressure but in the PR field deadlines and the ability to multitask is a MUST. If you don’t meet a deadline, you lose your chance for coverage. If you can’t balance the ability to talk on the phone, write an email and text all at the same time, get out, there’s not enough room for you. Ok, so maybe that’s a little dramatic but you get the point.
Some days, the pressure of everyday life and workload excite me and I am able to not only meet my goals, but excel at them as well. But, then there are the days that are few and far between where the deadlines seem to build up and that’s when the pressure builds as well.
When the pressure increases, the everyday tasks get lost and mistakes are made. Is this normal? Is working under pressure and constantly needing a deadline a good trait to have or is it something I have become too dependent on?