Working Under Stress

Hitting deadlines can be one of the scariest but also most productive things for a composer. When time AND inspiration is short, things can become particularly problematic. However, everybody should develop a strategy to be able to hit deadlines and spread out the workload over the time available without  getting into 20 hour days or getting super stressed out towards the end. People who claim to be doing “all nighters” or being “sooooo stressed out towards the end of a project” very often either have a time management problem or risk their health. Being organised and having a decent self discipline usually gets you through most deadlines without raising the stress level to unhealthy heights.

The most common strategy is of course to calculate how much music you need to write per day in order to hit a deadline. Be realistic about that, though. If you notice that things will become problematic, organize help. Transfer parts of the work to someone else. There’s no good in sacrificing your health or the quality of your music just to be able to do it all by yourself.

Lastly, always plan in some buffer time, so calculate to be done with the project one day before the deadline. As it is very likely for unplanned things to happen, this buffer time will come much in handy.


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