Deadlines are sacrosanct for those who value time and practice discipline as a way of life. However, if you are someone with a laid-back attitude, working on whims and mood swings, then the pressure of excess workload and strict deadlines can be a haunting nightmare to give you sleepless nights. Soon, follows the burnout experienced in the process of slogging it out.
An effective time management strategy is required to meet deadlines. If a deadline goes unmet, it affects the entire cyclical flow of operations to impact all stakeholders involved directly or indirectly in the business workings. If you are a freelancer thriving in the gig economy, meeting deadlines are more important because your personal brand is at stake. You have to be more responsible to make your words count and follow it with necessary actions as required.
Here are some tips and tricks to stay off the hustle and meet deadlines on time:
- Plan realistically
Planning is the groundwork for effective execution. If you fail to make a proper week, day or month plan to complete tasks on time, then undoubtedly towards the end you will not meet deadlines. Also, if you choose to observe a laid-back attitude giving excuses to yourself to not perform, you will not be able to deliver a long-stint in your career either. Your professional credibility and reliability become questionable by clients and customers.
Deadlines are set to keep track of progress, monitor workings in a day, improve productivity and efficiency of the workforce.
If you fail to commit to yourself first, to take responsibility for your daily execution of tasks then your career growth can seem stagnated in the long run. Most often professionals, even the most seasoned ones fall prey to the greed of challenging themselves to do a lot more then what can be realistically accomplished in a set time frame.
This is one grave mistake we all make, that makes us lose customers and perhaps a new business opportunity. We tend to over commit and under deliver; this does affect your professional dependability. It’s very important to plan realistically to be able to experience a sense of professional contentment and gratification from what you do every day.
- Allow some breathing room and time
When deadlines are set, if you think it can actually choke you for breath, voice it out and request a day extension if possible. Sometimes work is assigned to the team at the eleventh hour expecting impeccable execution and quality delivery within the time frame set.
Now if you are a seasoned professional working on similar projects, you will recognize immediately that the deadline preset can leave you gasping for breath and dearth of time to manage deliverables within the time frame. Creative professionals especially need breathing room and space to deliberate on details, de-clutter thoughts, pick on the nuances and come up with ground-breaking concepts. In demanding industries, creative professionals are challenged with time crunch situations to deliver their best in a time frame. Time is undoubtedly a necessary evil and a luxury for the hard-working populace.
- Get over the habit of procrastination
Today is a gift, it’s “the present” as the old adage goes. So, make wise use of your time with immaculate planning to the finest details. Get over the habit of procrastination to leave difficult jobs for tomorrow while solving the easy ones. Get started working on it today, then expecting some miraculous escape or a thought that you can still manage to meet deadlines at the last odd hour.
When the deadline for a long-delayed procrastinated task finally arrives, you will feel the pressure of time and heat of the moment with thoughts pacing at lightning speeds, hustling your days to meet deadlines.
- Set reminders and chart out your daily calendar
As we juggle to deliver within a time frame set, we stress on our mental efficiencies by pushing the human mechanics to deliver promptly without compromising on quality and efficiency. Rushing through workloads, there is every chance that we might miss out on certain expected standards and deadlines for minor tasks.
To ensure, we do not miss out on the date, day and time of deliverables, please set a reminder on your device(s) to be reminded of the work goals after every few hours. By disciplining your mental structural framework, you will feel agiler and can make time to deliver work as is expected of clients and businesses.
- Communicate deadlines clearly to all
If you’re working in a team for a start-up or a well-established company, you should communicate deadlines clearly to one and all by a written email. This will help avoid miscommunication and deadline delivery mishaps occurring at the last moment, just before the timeline strikes.
It will also help members of the team evaluate their daily workings, and confirm acceptance of the deadline, to be prepared for any hiccups or possible bumps on the road to project execution.
- Make a checklist and get started
Plan wise and jot down the steps you need to take as an individual or as a team to work towards the deadline set. Make a to-do list with bulleted points of the tasks you should complete every day, and be well prepared for any hiccups to leave room for last-minute revisions before final project delivery.
If you face any challenges along the way, organize meetings with your team to find solutions to overcome hiccups hindering project execution.
- Prioritize right
With more than a project approaching the deadline soon, you and the team can feel confused with dispersed thoughts juggling between projects, working out ways to meet deadlines. You can avoid all the hustle and the confusion by prioritizing right and setting reminders to be reminded of upcoming project deadlines.
Without careful planning, the final execution strategy can turn out to be a messy affair. Stay off the mess with a disciplined stress-free approach to project execution.
- Proof check before submission
As you work towards a deadline, it’s equally important to allow some time for final proof check and revisions before project delivery. Create a project roadmap and daily plan for execution to be able to complete each phase of the project timely such that final delivery and submission is not delayed.
Time management and immaculate organizing skills are the keys to meeting deadlines. As you plan, organize and prioritise, make sure that neither you nor a member of the team treads the procrastination route.
The cut-throat competitive business environment is not reason enough to cram your head, clutter your workspace and hustle with productivity. A calm mind is a secret to increased productivity, efficiency and timely execution. Take it easy, breathe in, breathe out, stay calm and execute!
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