Tell us your tried and true techniques for focusing when that deadline looms and you need to get work done. In other words, how do you avoid wasted days and wasted nights?

My entire profesional life has been a consecution of deadlines. Mainly daily deadlines. And I had to finish my job in a hurry in the middle of the noisy environment of a newsroom at night. I don’t know about techniques. I just did it every day under that pressure of the clock. usually the pressure was enough to focus on the writing.

Sometimes, when I desperately needed to isolate myself from the noise and I had all the data collected and a very clear idea of what I wanted to write I used to listen to music. through my earphones. Something calm, classic, known, that would not distract me. But usually I just worked as fast as I could to be on time. That was especially important when I had some exclusive news or last hour news to report about.

Being late was not an option. The newspaper had to wait for the news but the presses had to start at a specific hour. It was the old fight between the newsroom and the machine room.

One night I had an exclusive story about an illegal scheme in which were implicated policemen divided in two rival groups. I wrote as fast as I could. I was on the verge of the deadline. But I had to be careful with the data and I checked and rechecked until I was completely sure of what I was going to publish.

Next day I expected my bosses to be satisfied because it was an exclusive and it was good, but to my surprise they only were worried because my story had delayed 10 minutes the start of the presses. A lot of money depends on being on time. Instead of talking about the story and how to follow it, I was lectured about the need of don’t surpass the deadlines. My fault.

via Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.
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