My mathematics teacher had just e-mailed me about failing to adhere to a deadline. I had been unable to submit a mathematics project that would count towards the board results. It was essential to submit it on time so that it could be sent to the board for evaluation. However, I was unaware of this project since I had been absent from school for a week due to a fever. Noting this, my teacher said that I had exactly one day to submit the project if I wanted to stand the chance of receiving full marks.
The pressure of completing a full project in one day was getting to me. I had never been this stressed in my life before. My stomach was weak and I felt like throwing up. My heart raced as I paced up and down my room. I unsuccessfully tried to calm myself. I sat down to start the project but my mind was blank. I knew I was not going to get anything done in this state of mind.
I decided to resume my daily activities and return to the project after an hour or so. I played some video games, read a chapter in a book and went outside to get a breath of fresh air. When I sat down at my desk again, my stress had significantly reduced. I took a deep breath and told myself that I could do it. I read through the project guidelines once again and realised that I had covered the concepts before. Additionally, since mathematics is my favourite subject, I felt that the project would be manageable.
Although I was still stressed, it was good stress. I drew up a rough time table of what I needed to complete and the duration of each task. I used my stress to push myself to work hard and complete the project on time. My stress allowed me to manage the situation effectively and be more productive than usual. All in all, the project took me seven hours and I was exhausted by the end of it. I put in the final touches and turned it in a couple of hours before the deadline.
A few months later, I received the results for the project and found out that I had scored full marks.
This incident taught me that while an excessive amount of stress can work to your disadvantage, being able to channelise it positively can increase your productivity and efficiency in completing tasks.