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I love deadlines. Period.

Too much has been said and written about deadlines. They serve as an opportunity for procrastinators to finish work. They enable the doers to redefine their goals and finish more work than expected out of them. And they run graduate schools. What the administration and teaching faculty cannot, these looming deadlines do. They are the ones who run organisations, especially academic institutions. They teach students, some of the most important lessons in life — setting realistic goals, prioritising work, planning vacations, devoting time to hobbies, and above all, exercising nocturnal abilities stretching from 2 hours past midnight, to early birds until 7 am in the mornings. Deadlines loves us and somewhere, we all love them back.

But what happens, when your mind gets used to deadlines and another task master, the mental block enters your life one day. Well, you are doomed, most likely. The mental block, is like a black hole, which is invisible to the mind, until it settles in and deflects all ideas that enter your mind to finish a task, pushing you empty handed towards its best friend, the deadline. You, walk, you run, you sleep, you talk, but the mental block sticks until it gets bored of your mind and plans to move on another. One way with dealing with such a temporary phase out is knowing what your weaknesses are, because the mental block only settles there. It is easy to forecast its arrival, and think of a backup solution to that problem, and prepare for it. Even if it is not the best answer you’ll have to an assignment, you are prepared to submit decent work in the face of deadlines.

Trust me, I’m dealing with one right now, without a backup.

Mariyam Raza Haider

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A journalist by training, Mariyam Haider is a writer and performance poet in Singapore.
She is the researcher of the book The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age written by James Crabtree.
Her writing has appeared in Hindustan Times, Livemint, Feminism In India, New Asian Writing and Kitaab.

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