Deadlines are the Devil… or are they?

By Jen Monroe

I was reflecting on the topic of productivity the other day, mostly thinking about all of the different ways our environment affects it. From birth, I was a “night owl” so it was no surprise that I had my most productive and creative moments late in the evening and early morning. In college, I found that I did my best work at night. I went to school for art, and earned a creative degree so being “in the zone” is very important when it comes to my work. In the art world, a studio would completely transform at night, from “class mode” to an open, creative environment. In this space, I could free my mind, get into my work, and occasionally stop to collaborate with others. Thanks to this environment, I was never afraid of a solid deadline— the more pressure that was put on me; the more I would arise to the occasion.

Being a creative in the insurance world is a dramatic change of pace compared to the easy going environment art school creates. Working a 9-5 position instead of staying up all night to finish off a project has changed me in ways I never thought possible! For instance—I can officially say I am a morning person. Who would have thought right? In the way of getting “in the zone” it is much more difficult. There are constant interruptions—between emails, phone calls, and everyday marketing needs from my fellow employees I rarely get the opportunity to be in a creative state of mind. Over the years, I have had to adjust to this environment change… somehow I make it work. The one constant between my college days and my insurance days is that everything I work on has a solid deadline.

I’ve learned instead of buckling under the pressure of a deadline, to embrace it. It’s what keeps my creativity flowing, and ignites my will to push through obstacles without a problem. I know some people become less productive or overwhelmed because of the stress, personally, I say bring it on! (Does this make me a glutton for punishment? Lol)

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