Deadline anxiety - how do you stop spiraling?


No matter how well I'm doing, when l start something new l have this pattern. And since there will be a lot of new things now, how do I break the pattern?
It happens when I have a close deadline. Maybe I had longer time, and couldn't start anyway. Or maybe it's just a project with a short deadline that l took(1-3 days). I'm scared I'll fail so l break it into parts. I even start on the beginning tasks.

But then it really gets to me. The fear, sliding in sticky, weakening waves through my body, telling me l can't finish it. I'm not good enough, I'll never finish it on time, and if l do it won't be good enough. And then my chest feels like it's burning up and my head starts buzzing with the anxiety pushing back and forth. I start thinking I'll fail and l won't get other projects because I missed the deadline. The feeling is crushing and then it start feeling pointless to do any of the small tasks. I start feeling small and weak and useless and talentless and then when I start pushing through the tasks, I have to constantly take breaks. Work 30min,break 30min so I forget what I'm doing, so l can breathe, so my hands stop shaking. And then l ignore all else I was planning for the day. My day becomes Tasks and breaks. And it's not about the project. Maybe I meet my deadline, maybe I don't. But at the end l'm so depleted from that pattern that I need a day or 2 off, just to take care of myself.

How do l break that pattern??
First because there are job opportunities that just have a pattern of close deadlines. And second because it's just not healthy.
And sometimes if l am not doing well mentally, even with a longer deadline l procrastinate until the last days... And then repeat this pattern.

Caught in such pattern right now with 2 tasks, how do l break out of it?


did making this post help any?

i use awareness and therapy breaks to manage my anxiety spirals. awareness help me know WHEN to take a therapy break instead of pushing myself harder. a post such as this one is among the tools i might use to help me refocus.
When I had deadline anxiety I couldn't shake, I consulted with my pdoc and she prescribed propranolol. It definitely helped. I also got some CBD gummies for using when the anxiety was at its worst, and they really helped.


I don’t play well wih deadlines.

I can either let the deadline pass, before starting, and then I’m fine… or I can finish ages before the deadline, immediately upon recieving it; and then either submit it (as long as that doesn’t move the deadline chain perm forward) or stick it in a stack of stuff to submit at a future date. Or I can do what you do, and pay the consequences for meeting a deadline, which means stopping my life for a perdiod of time in order to accomplish it & then to recover from that. I prefer the first 2. I’ve done the 3rd often enough to know the option is always on the table, and if at all possible, to avoid/account for it.

Other people’s clocks? Piss me off. Whether impossible (300 sworn affidavits, from around the world, in 24hrs?!?) or artificial (there’s no reason for this deadline), or practical, matters not. I drop-kick into the stratosphere.


I could have wrote this exact post RIGHT NOWM my gosh I know how you feel!!!

This is exactly why I was going to post in here right now.
I feel so bombarded and stuck in panic run and no stop freeze. Don't freeze too much. Maybe it's not the same. But I'm pretty pissed off watching myself destruct? Is what it feels like.

I asked for a T meeting

And I'm gonna focus solely on grounding.
Going for a walk outside

I work at home and haven't brushed my teeth yet.

I haven't been sleeping well.

I really hope you feel better soon!