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Do you thrive under pressure or crumble at the thought of it? Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches or do you need to iterate, day after day to achieve something you’re proud of? Tell us how you work best.

Yes and no. When I was younger — like in high school and college — I usually left things until the last minute. Generally that worked just fine; I got high enough grades that I didn’t question my methods. These however fell apart when I was doing a thesis in my final year of University. That needed more continual, measured work and I wasn’t prepared for that because I hadn’t worked that way before. I didn’t do as well I my thesis as I should have because I left it too late. That doesn’t mean I didn’t learn a great deal from that.

I thrive under a certain amount of pressure; it helps my thought coalesce. If I’m researching something, I tend to have to fill up my brain with all the information and facts I can, and then write a paper, plan a lesson, or come to a conclusion. In fact, I tend to over-research — I want to be sure I haven’t missed anything — so it helps to have the pressure of a firm deadline so that I have to stop the research and draw the conclusions.

Having ADD and suffering to some extent from generalized anxiety, my mind can roam all over the place and I have to push myself to stay on task (and I’ve gotten much better at that). If there a necessity to act, a crisis, or imminent deadline, that jettisons me into action, and I get very focused.

I do “feel” the pressure, though, and I work more progressively to a deadline than I did when I was younger. I’d rather be prepared, like a good Boy Scout, than be pushed too hard at the last minute. I guess I also don’t like to make mistakes; I rather be sure I’ve covered all the bases, and have a plan.

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