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The Balance Between Deadlines and Personal Matters


Hello folks,

Sorry for the delay, I have been busy since my last post but an experience yesterday inspired me to write. I went in to my part time job, set up my work space and prepared to do the usual administrative duties. I was unexpectedly surprised by my supervisor, who asked me if I was interested in drafting a blurb for a work- in -progress event advertisement. Despite that this does not fall in the category of paranormal mystery, I am always open to applying my writing skills in other areas of focus. So I agreed and received a two hour deadline to create a first draft.

Generally speaking, I tend to work at my own pace if I do not receive clear direction/ communication, or if I am specifically told to take my time. I usually advocate as much as possible to ensure that I am not falling behind. However I tend to work faster when I have a deadline, because it is direct, concise, helps me adjust my speed and structure my time management. Therefore I was able to plan ahead, spend a certain amount of time on on idea, and then move on to the next. In two hours, I accomplished an approved introduction for the blurb, and two possible invitation pieces to add onto it. I even managed to draft a short letter, in case the organization needs to address certain members of the community.

Even though I got the work done, that does not mean it was easy. Personally if it is a brainstorm, blurb, or draft, I treat the writing assignment like a final product. Therefore I am programmed to obsess over details, word choice, punctuation, etc. I took this approach while I wrote this blurb, and of course the nerves haunted me with the constant, No this is not the right word, what does that have to do with the event? What if this does not make sense? There should be more detail on that, and a comma should not be here. However I was able to balance those nerves with the help from the deadline; that way if I was unsure about something that I wrote, I could take a break, come up with a new idea and then go back to it. This was an incredibly helpful strategy, because I was able to pace myself yet meet the deadline in a timely manner..

Surprisingly, this incident reminded me of an experience my junior year of college. I took a horsemanship class that required me to pick a horse, establish a bond, and eventually gain enough trust where I could ride it bareback. Rather then select a sound well behaved horse, I chose a spirited and ill mannered mid size pony named Duke. The first time I met him, he butted his head against my back and almost made me lose my balance. I can't say that I appreciated his domineering behavior, but Duke also had an admirable drive to work, undeniable determination, and seemed to soften once he became trustworthy of his handler. So I stayed with him, because he would motivate me to work fast enough to reach the bareback deadline, yet find the balance of establishing a personal relationship.

Despite the fast paced class, I was able to plan ahead with Duke, the same way that I planned ahead yesterday. There were times when I wanted to jog with him, and he did not want to. Rather then focus on that, I would either do an activity that he liked, play with the cones that he enjoyed, or simply walk over the poles, and then go back to jogging. Fortunately he became gentler with me, our bond grew, and I was eventually able to ride him in the saddle. Once we reached the bareback deadline, unfortunately I only got to enjoy that time with Duke for two minutes. He just happened to have a bad day on the night of bareback riding, and resorted to his usual ornery self. I had to borrow another horse from a friend of mine, and accepted that it was better that way. Despite the setback, I am grateful for the experience, because at least I reached and temporarily enjoyed the deadline. Yet I still had the balance of a memorable relationship with Duke.

I hope that I can achieve something, with the balance of deadline and my personal views on quality work. The ability to achieve deadlines is a blessing, because it reinforces that I have a strength and it inspires me to find more. There are times when it easier for me to focus on my weaknesses, but now that I'm looking for full time work, there is honestly no time for that. Of course I get nervous, when I am pressed and want to produce good quality work. However I am glad that I have the balance to work through those feelings.

I hope that all of you can find balance in deadlines and personal matters. This is something that is not easy, but it is necessary if you want to work in the industry you love. Not only it is important to open yourself to other areas of focus in the industry, but to balance deadlines with personal matters. Best of luck and hope that you find blessings in all you do!

Warm regards,

Meghan.

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