Playlist: You Have a Deadline

Sometimes you are busy, and sometimes you have an insane impossible deadline that’s been building for weeks and then still manages to hit you in the face. And you have barely an hour left to make it in. And part of that hour will involve desperate waiting for a printer / scanner / massive file transfer to go through. That is what this playlist is for.

Blow at High Dough – The Tragically Hip
Satan is my Motor – Cake
Torture Me – Metric
Born to Run – K-Os
Let it Ride – The Guess Who
Don’t Cha Stop – The Cars
19th Nervous Breakdown – The Rolling Stones
Don’t Rush – Tegan and Sara
Rewrite – Sia
Sundance – Sam Roberts
Life in the Fast Lane – The Eagles
25 or 6 to 4 – Chicago
Break on Through (To The Other Side) – The Doors
No Surrender – Bruce Springsteen
Pressure – Billy Joel
The Final Countdown – Europe
Make the Bus (Feat. Of Montreal) – Janelle Monáe


Add your favourite panicky deadline-related tracks in the comments below!

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone of the team will make it for you.

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. So I was running a ten mile race this weekend, and at mile 7, two guys were cheering people on by playing “The Final Countdown” on trumpets! I ran SO MUCH FASTER because of it. I don’t know who those guys were, but they’re awesome people.

  2. i am so in love with both “torture me” and “make the bus”.
    also, i would totally queer up this list a bit with queen and david bowie’s “under pressure”.

  3. My weekend plans involve friends dropping me at ihop and not coming back to get me until my papers are finished. Its Go time.

  4. if i’d this earlier in the week, i suspect i’d be 20% less totally-fucking-crazy right now!

  5. people, I will be listening to this in late january/february….

    …when I have to hand in my 80-100 page thesis about conceptions of masculinity in contemporary scandinavian urban novels.

    and yes I did choose that topic.

  6. My deadline is finish all my college applications/ homework in every class by Tuesday. UGHHHHHHHHH.

  7. I’m the stage manager for my school’s play, and we have less than a week left until opening night, and everyone is freaking out because we still have so much left. This playlist could not be more perfect.

  8. A+++. could i suggest that you start putting these on spotify? that way people can save them and there are no rules about how many tracks you can skip.

  9. It’s finals week at med school and thus crunch time. Uh, I’ll probs listen to this to motivate myself to become a foxy lady doctor.


    Totally agree with Under Pressure being on a list.

  10. When I have a deadline or when I’m late cycling somewhere, I always play Dead Kennedys really loud either till it’s finished or till I’m there. In fact, you can see the Dead Kennedys-peaks on my that show when I had to make a deadline. :)

    But asides, this playlist is pretty sweet too. :)

  11. for some reason my deadlines playlist is the grey album on repeat. i think that was the only thing i listened to my last semester of college.

  12. this is amazingly accurate since i have a deadline on tuesday and did not even go out tonight because i have to spend the weekend working!! :D
    also your breakup list some weeks ago was also totally appropriate for me at the time…thanks auto straddle!

  13. I actually have a crazy deadline in 12 hours! Stream playlist? I’ll go there now.
    Add: Que Sera version by Wax Tailor. For when you’ve done all you can but still feel a little unsatisfied.

  14. Like everyone else I read this a couple weeks ago, thinking:
    “Heh, I should get started on my one and only senior thesis presentation/ Teach for America application
    Deadline of Doom.”
    And then I ignored it for a while.


    Thank you Autostraddle for understanding my life.

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