It’s a stupid word if you think about it. Deadline. Its origins are as grim as it suggests. From my, albeit scant, research it looks like originally the word meant – a line  drawn around a prison camp, which if you crossed you could be shot dead. So quite literal then.

According to wikipedia, it came into its modern parlance as “due date” in a round about sort of a way. Printers used it first, to indicate the space on the page under which they could no longer print. And then publishers joined in a few years later to bring it to the sense of due date – get your book/article/writing to use by this date or you’ll miss the deadline.

I stayed at work tonight until late because of a rather pressing deadline… There was only one other person in the staff area when I left. Even the university librarian had gone home.

It’s always a difficult decision to stay and do the work. Harder still when you are casual. But I choose too because after four weeks and approximately 370 emails I just wanted it done.

While I wouldn’t say it’s a matter of pride, I would say that regardless of my work status doing the work is important. To put it another way, I didn’t do it so people think I’m diligent or how great I am to stay, I did because it needed to be done.

I like deadlines because they give me something to aim at… When I was doing my library degree, my friends would have completed the assignment weeks before it was due. I’d start the day before and write 19 hours straight to get it done. You do your best work when working to deadline.



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