Of course, I would learn later in life that the best way to deal with these situations was to break down the project into a number of smaller steps and attack it that way. But even then, procrastination sets in, since each step is not "due" at a certain time, it is easy to blow it all off until the last minute. We prefer to work at a pre-defined task for the day, finish it, and go home.
The media would have you think that driving a truck on an ice road or catching lobsters was the hardest job in the world. And those are risky things to do, of course. But at the end of the day, the risk is gone and you are done, with no "homework" or stress hanging over you, other than a job that is to be attacked the next day, as a separate task. A union worker never need fear losing his job, unless the plant closes.
The hardest jobs are the ones where you are constantly planning for the future, working on long-term projects, dealing with deadlines and due dates, and doing things that take weeks and months to accomplish. These are jobs where you have responsibility and risk - you could get fired, sued, or worse, if you don't perform up to spec.
These are the stressful jobs that professionals have to do, and one reason they get paid a lot more to do them. They are hard to do properly as well, as evidenced by the high failure rates of planning positions and the spectacular falls from grace that managers often have. In fact, most managers fall from grace when they start "phoning it in" and dealing with issues on a day-to-day basis instead of engaging in long-term planning. When your job devolves into putting out fires, you can't steer the ship. Disaster awaits.
I never liked these kind of jobs, or long-term project, deadlines, and the like. Thus, it is somewhat ironic, that I ended up in a career that was nothing but long-term projects, deadlines, and due dates. Not to mention responsibility and risk. For the last 30 years, I have had 30-40 book reports due at any given time - with deadlines that stretched out for years, even decades. It is one reason I am giving it up - it was very stressful and I really didn't like doing it. I need to relax more.
Because that is another factor in all of this. Handling the stress and anxiety of a "responsibility job" when you are in your 20's and 30's is no big deal. As you get older and your job skills get more antiquated, it doesn't get easier, but harder. It is nice to be in a position where you can decide what you want to do with your life, rather than feel forced to keep doing something you started decades ago because you have no choice.