13 Oct – Crunch Time

Do you work well under pressure when it’s crunch time?

 

Generally speaking, if I’m left alone, I usually power through whatever it is I need to get done… If people feel compelled to continue interrupting me whilst I’m ‘in the zone’ they shouldn’t be surprised when I completely flip out at them.
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Daily Prompt: The Heat is On

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.

These are things that I’ve already previously covered both here and also here

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/daily-prompt-heat/

Jan 31: NaBloPoMo Pressure Jan Edition

Did you feel a lot of pressure with January’s NaBloPoMo?

I really struggled with Jan’s NaBloPoMo, mainly because I didn’t structure myself properly to include a set time to actually write my posts. More often than not, I would get either too busy or too lazy for a couple of days, and then have to spend and entire afternoon / evening writing a bunch of posts just so I could catch up, and get them all out of the way.

Like right now. I’ve got another 9 posts in order for me to catch up completely, and I’m not sure how many I’ll be able to get through before I need to go to bed, or go to work.

I’m actually that far behind, January’s NaBloPoMo has finished and February has already begun, so the pressure is going to continue. Now I have to try and work out when I’m going to be able to sit down for a decent chunk of time and really smash out a string of posts, whilst still making them seem readable and not seem so… rushed.

Jan 27: Time Constraints

What puts more pressure on you: time constraints or achieving perfection?

Short answer:  Both.

Try aiming for perfection whilst having time constraints. It’s not exactly the easiest to achieve. Moreso when you’re constantly being interrupted. Even worse still is when you find yourself completely in ‘the zone’.

If I had to pick one, I’d probably say time constraints. I tend to be quite thorough with my work, and present my work well in terms of layout and design, but my problem is managing to do that in a timely fashion. I could have a couple of weeks up my sleeve to complete something, and that’s where the problem begins.

In the beginning I’m always of the mindset that I’ve got heaps of time, and it’s not a really complicated job, it might take me a day or so max, so I don’t need to really think about it just yet.

WRONG!!

What happens after that is I become a lot more aware of the days passing me by, but in my head I still see myself having heaps of time up my sleeve, and more often than not, it’s usually the day before, or worse, the day it’s due and then I realise I’ve left it until literally the last minute and go into complete meltdown mode and stress out like crazy in order for it to get done.

I will actually get it done, but don’t think about even coming anywhere near me when I get into that mode, because I’ll be ready to rip somebody’s head off.

Time management, not my strongest, and clearly something that needs to be worked on.

NaBloPoMo Pressure – January

So I’m sitting here (at work, mind you), looking at my list of posts marked DRAFT. There’s 8 of them sitting there. Taunting me. Pressuring me. And I’m feeling quite agitated.

Is that even the right description?!

Either way, tomorrow I’m heading off overseas, and I’ve already started to create the draft posts that I will need to write as part of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Plus there’s the Daily Prompt ones as well, and by my calculations, by the time I get back from my trip next Monday, I will need to have completed 16 posts over the next 5 days.

See, you’re sitting there thinking ‘um, that’s actually really easy, stop complaining!’.

Well, I’ve got news for you. It’s actually not that easy. I started this entire daily writing challenge thinking this was so incredibly simple and easy to do, and that was with the NaBloPoMo challenge in November 2013. I immediately realised that I could almost write an entire month’s worth of posts over the course of a weekend (which I didn’t actually do), but I then thought I’d really challenge myself and take on the Daily Prompt challenge as well.

So, it’s been a bit of a struggle sometimes to get a two posts done per day, because of something called life. Life happens. Work, family, work, social, work, gym, gym, family, gym, family, work, social, gym, work etc etc etc etc. And then after a couple of days I’ve suddenly found myself with a backlog of 8 posts just to bring myself up to date, and then there’s the upcoming 8 posts that need to be written. And all this is somehow supposed to happen miraculously whilst I’m overseas on a work trip.

Jan’s NaBloPoMo theme is pressure, and sweet baby cheeses am I feeling the pressure now.

I wanted to try and smash at least two out yesterday between job number 1 and job number 2, but ended up with family commitments in between. PLUS on top of that I’ve been having very little sleep the last few nights because it’s been ridiculously hot here. It was 42C yesterday (that’s 107.6F for everybody else) and it’s been pretty hot like that for a few days now. So I’ve been having very little sleep, but in saying that, going to bed at 1:30 – 2:00am the last couple of nights doesn’t help either.

So here I am, sitting at my desk feeling like a bit of a zombie.

I am really struggling to focus and do my work, and I find that I’m just making so many mistakes. I was just in the process of writing a message to somebody overseas, and without realising I had picked up the phone with the intention of calling them, despite the fact that I don’t actually know their number overseas. I’m just doing really stupid things.

I just want to go to bed.

Tonight, when I finish my other job, I’ll get home about 9:30 – 10pm, then at some point have dinner and pack my suitcase before going to bed. I’ll then have a 4:00am wake up call so I can haul ass to the airport at 5:30 to check in before my flight @ 8am.

*groan*

I’m already exhausted, and thinking about that, just makes it worse. I need a holiday just so I can recover!!

Jan 23: Temper Under Control

Do you think it’s possible to control your temper when facing enormous pressure?

This is something that I regularly struggle with. I find that I do go through periods where I am under a lot of pressure, whether it’s work related or pressure I put on myself for whatever reason, and I find that when I am feeling stressed out like that, then I more than often just want to be left alone.

It usually gets to a point where I will snap at anybody for even talking to me, because I’m so heavily focused on what I’m doing at that time. The worst part is when I do actually reach that point, and somebody does cross the line (you know, that line that I only I know exists, and they don’t, essentially meaning their stepping into a lions den without realising it… yeah, that line) I shoot my mouth off… and I shoot to kill.

I cannot deny that I have quite a potty mouth on me, some people find it quite entertaining, some don’t, but when I shoot my mouth off when I am angry… it’s like going down swinging. I will use my words to completely tear somebody apart, and most of the time, I just say it to be a nasty malicious bitch. When I find myself at that point where I can’t even think clearly because I’m so full of rage, my mind shuts off, and my mouth takes over. This is usually why most of the time, when I’m involved in some kind of argument or disagreement, I can’t really remember anything that I say.

I know I say things that are nasty. I know that I say things that are hurtful. I usually just do so as a warning to others… it’s sort of like my way of saying ‘don’t think about even LOOKING at me’, but the thing with that is that when I shoot my mouth off in one of those moments, I really don’t necessarily mean anything that actually comes out of my mouth (because, like I said, I usually just say shit in the heat of the moment), but although I don’t think anything of it, others end up getting quite upset or offended.

That tends to make these situations worse, because I think that they’re being too sensitive, and that makes me look like even more of a bitch.

*sigh*

Evidently, I have a problem.

Jan 24: Pressure To Rebel

Does pressure ever make you want to rebel and do the exact opposite of what is being asked of you?

Oh lordy, does it ever!!

I have this ‘trait’ – it’s almost instinctive, like I can’t even control it. It usually rears its ugly head whenever I’m in a bad mood, or feeling incredibly frustrated, or highly stressed. And it can be the most trivial request. Somebody can ask me to do something for them, and I’ll purposely go out of my way to not do it. I’m not saying that this happens on a regular basis, but I will admit that I have my moments.

It’s childish, and stubborn and completely stupid, but it’s something that happens. I’m not really sure why it happens, but it does.

However, sometimes I don’t even get to that part – more often than not, too much pressure just makes me want to throw my hands up and completely give up on whatever task I’m doing. It might just seem too difficult, or there might not seem like there’s any end in sight, and I find myself just wanting to throw in the towel and give up.

Again, childish and stupid.

Jan 17: Handle It or Fall Apart?

Do you think you handle pressure well, or do you usually fall apart?

When it comes to how I handle pressure, it really depends on my frame of mind. Sometimes I might be feeling as though I’m ready to conquer the world (as rare as that may be), or sometimes even the smallest piece of pressure makes me want to fall to pieces.

One thing I have noticed is that when I do start to feel pressure, I get stressed and I internalise everything, to the point where I will get so focused on a task, I actually lose the ability to work and talk at the same time. I know that for others who are trying to talk to me during these moments get quite frustrated, because it just seems as though I’m blatantly ignoring them… that’s not the case, I’ve just temporarily lost the ability to speak. I get so focused on the task at hand, and more often than not I’ll be on a roll and when you’re in that mindspace, the last thing you want is to be interrupted and have your train of thought disrupted.

Jan 16: Self Pressure

Who puts the most pressure on you — yourself or others?

For me, this is more like a 50:50 situation.

I get pressured by others – people at work, my partner etc, but I also put a lot of pressure on myself. Actually, I think I put the most pressure on myself because my brain works at a million miles an hour, and I almost over think pretty much, everything.

The problem is that sometimes I don’t really enjoy having pressure placed on me, and quite often just throw my hands up and think ‘fuck this, I can’t handle it’.

And then all I want to do is just shut myself off from the rest of the world and hide away from everyone and everything. Most of the time I feel as though I have two versions of myself – the voice that I actually use, who is too censored; and then there’s the voice in my head, the real voice of me who only exists in my brain and never gets to speak.

Maybe that’s the voice that I also use when I write my blog…?? I have a lot to say, I just don’t say it.

Jan 15: Grace Under Pressure

“Courage is grace under pressure” is a famous quotation by Ernest Hemingway. Tell us about a personal moment of your grace under pressure.

Personally, I find it hard to exude grace under pressure when you’re a Scorpio. I don’t do grace. I just get revenge. I’m the person that you don’t want to cross, because I’ll go out of my way to take you down.

Sidenote: the reality is, I sound scary, but I’m really not…

When I’m under pressure, I’m trying to keep it all together, and / or I’m ready to cut a bitch.

I remember one particular time when I was living in a share house with a couple of girls, I was away at my friends place, and was informed that my current housemates, both girls (and closeted lesbians), had both decided to move out whilst I was away, and not tell me.

This information came from a mutual friend of ours who thought that what they were planning was just plain nasty.

She then followed up that bombshell with ‘…and I think they’ve trashed your room too…’. She couldn’t give me any further information because she’d only heard them make passing comments about it, but didn’t question them. She just knew that something was up.

I had to go home. I had to confront these bitches about what I’d been told and whether or not it was correct.

I returned home and they were gone. Both their bedrooms were half-empty, and then I opened the door to my room.

The smell was… I can’t even… It was like the smell from the rubbish at the local markets that’s been sitting in the hot summer sun for a week. Ironically, it was the middle of summer, and all my blinds had been left open, so my room was like a hotbox.

It was completely trashed. All my clothes had been pulled down, and strewn all across the floor, along with all my other belongings. It was like the room had been burgled, without anything actually being taken. But the smell, oh dear god, the smell…

The worst part was, that no matter how much air freshener I sprayed, it didn’t go away. It was still there. It was so overpowering. As I started to clean my room up, I still couldn’t find the source of the smell. Not being able to find the source of the horrendous stench of death started to drive me crazy… a couple of hours later I started to discover them… piece by smelly piece.

The first was the opened meat that they so graciously left in the pockets of my jackets, and inside my shoes. Because I kept my shoes on a shoe rack under the window, they were in the heat constantly.

That was lovely. And seeing as how I was the only one who actually ate meat, I knew it was mine. They would have put it in there whilst it was frozen, and then let it defrost in the heat. Hence, I ended up with several pairs of ruined shoes.

Then there was the rotten vegetables. They were put in amongst my socks and jocks drawer. They sprayed my doona with tuna juice, and then put the doona cover back on it!! I found some chunks of tuna amongst my shorts… at least they used the whole tin…!! The pinnacle of it all was finding a watermelon throughout my bed. Chunks of it had been put under my pillows, and then the rest was just left in the cling-wrap and left under my bed.

I literally couldn’t believe what they had done. I was beside myself. Nobody deserves anything like that – they had gone too far, and I wasn’t having it.

I’m not going to say that we didn’t have any issues prior to this happening. We’d been having some heated conversations about general things, like them not paying bills on time, but getting angry at me when I don’t pay on time – which wasn’t a regular occurrence. I’d get angry at them for not paying rent on time, and because I was the main contact, I was the one who copped the abusive phone call from the real estate agent as a result.

They had spoken about the two of them moving out and getting their own place together. I was upset by this, but reminded them that they had a few months left on the lease, and if they wanted to break the lease, they would have to find replacement housemates – that’s generally the rule of how things work in sharehouses.

After that, we were fine. I went on holidays thinking that we were all good… evidently I was wrong.

So when I returned home to find this… I honestly didn’t know what to do because I so full of sheer rage.

I figured that there was only one way to deal with these bitches… and that was to play their own game.

I sent both their parents photos letters with photos of the damage they had caused. I also filed a report with the police for damage of personal property, and sent the bill estimates for having things replaced, cleaned and / or repaired, to their parents as well. I also notified the real estate agent and told them about what the girls had done, as they had also caused damage to the property as a result of their actions.

Now, I had met both their parents, and developed a great rapport with both of them, so naturally they were both beside themselves when they saw the photos of the damage they had caused. One of the mothers was so disgusted by it, that she called the mother of the other girl, and they both agreed to pay half each to compensate me, which I was quite surprised by, and was very grateful for. In the end I used both their bond money to pay for the cleaning of the carpets. Sorry bitches.

Sure enough, I get a rather abusive phone call from one of the girls, going on about how dare I contact her parents, and embarrass her the way that I did, and that I had no right to send them a bill for the damage. At that point I informed them that I had filed a police report, and if they continued, I’ll be adding harassment to it as well. I also informed her that I had told their parents about the police report as well.

I may have ‘accidentally’ told the very strict catholic mother of one of the girls, that she was now actually dating the other girl, and the reason they moved out, was so they could get their own place together and further develop their relationship together.

That didn’t necessarily seem to go down too well either. oops.

After my discussion with the real estate agent, and the police, I didn’t file charges because their parents had compensated me for the damage of my property, but that didn’t stop me from giving a copy of the report, along with the photos to the real estate agent and the tenancy tribunal to have a black mark put against their name.

For some strange reason, they weren’t able to move in to their new love shack. And they couldn’t seem to get approval for any other places either, resulting in them both moving back in with their parents.

The best part was the phone call I got from one of them, acting as though nothing had happened and that we were best friends. I playfully went along with it, giving her a false sense of security. The highlight was her telling me her sob story about having to move in with her parents, and she hated it, and she couldn’t spend time with her girlfriend because they lived in different towns… and would it be possible for them to move back in with me, if I hadn’t already found new housemates.

Oh, it was absolute heaven. I quite calmly basically told her to go fuck herself, and send my regards to her mother, who had called me previously to see if I was okay.