Dubai Diaries: Why deadlines give me a rush

Ambica Sachin /Dubai
ambica@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 5, 2021

I have specialised in the art of extending a job till the nth hour

Last week I found myself dragging my aching feet all around the neighbourhood mall as I trawled through every outlet for a birthday present for a special person.

Now my modus operandi when it comes to gift shopping, or even something as mundane as picking up a new tea mug or getting my handbag fixed, has remained unchanged over the years.

Make a note of each item you want and specify each shop you are likely to find them in and then, well, hit every single mall within your geographic reach, including one at the end of the town you haven’t been to in a year.

As any shopaholic worth her haul of shopping bags will vouch, you never know in which obscure store you are going to spot that special junk your heart has been hankering for, leave aside the fact that you probably never knew such a thing existed till you set your eyes on it.

At the risk of outing myself as a shopping opportunist, I also confess I’m the one who enters the supermarket with a pretty specific list but ends up walking up and down every aisle just in case I spot some elusive ‘must-have’ ingredient that is not even there in any of my recipes. I like to leave nothing to chance, you see.

There is something therapeutic about whiling away precious time in a space where practically everything can be yours in exchange for hard earned money.

I find it hugely de-stressing to just walk around and come away with a haul that’s soon relegated to the back of a cupboard.

This is pretty much what happens to me when faced with a deadline at work as well. I find myself doing every other job I can lay my hands on in the vicinity, but for the one that is hurtling towards me like an engine without brakes.

The accident is waiting to happen. The time has already been decided. It is just a matter of averting the disaster by getting into your bubble and activating your work mode.

Except in many cases you are waylaid by well-intentioned people and activities that encroach into your time and slowly you find yourself being pulled out of your silo to engage with everything around you but for the most important task staring you in the face.

My best friend often points out that the day I embark on a special baking mission or decide to spring clean my cupboard, is often the day I have an important article to turn in.

I somehow manage to race through to the finish line by stretching my deadline by a few thrifty minutes and the adrenaline rush it gives me will have you think I’d just participated in a heart-thumping, sweat dripping marathon.

In my younger days I’ve often eschewed setting up a routine as a boring way to function, and truth be told even looked down disdainfully at those who proudly extol their disciplined lifestyle.

The birthday, by the way, was a resounding success with the party favours picked up within 24 hours of D-day being the icing on the cake.


Ambica Sachin

Armed with a double masters in English Literature, Ambica Sachin embarked on a career that has seen her straddle teaching, assisting an award-winning author, and reviewing books and movies, before finding her forte in critical writing and interviewing celebrities. She is currently Editor, City Times, the lifestyle and entertainment portal of Khaleej Times.