For many of us, deadlines are the least liked part of any job. Whether you meet them or not, they are important in keeping the workplace productive. I do admit that deadline kills the creative process however, failure to meet them can be catastrophic for your business and your career.
If you find it hard to keep up with deadlines, here are some tips on how you can meet deadlines in the workplace:
#1 List down all your projects and deadlines
Before starting with any project or task, make sure to list them all down and organize them based on their importance. This will help you schedule them properly and finish those with high importance first.
#2 Have a reasonable deadline
When discussing projects, make sure that the deadline is something you can actually meet. If the task or project requires more time, negotiate with the client or your team leader but do not wait until the last moment to stretch your deadline.
You should be upfront about it if you don’t think you have the capacity to fulfill the required deadline.
#3 Commit to the deadline
Once you agree to a deadline, you need to commit to finishing it. Don’t be lazy or procrastinate with your tasks because it will affect the quality of your work and your reputation as a professional.
#4 Know everything you need to know
Sometimes, you tend to miss deadlines because you missed a few things about the project. Before you begin, discuss everything about the project and what is expected from you.
#5 Schedule your time wisely
When you are going to begin with a project, make sure your schedule for the day is arranged accordingly. Block of certain parts of your work schedule for the project and don’t do anything else during that time.
Sometimes, I block out certain days for specific projects. During those times, I will move away from my usual seat and hole myself in a meeting room to concentrate and not be distracted by daily tasks. If my boss need me, he knows where to find me!
#6 Divide the task into several parts
To ensure you don’t get overwhelmed with the task, break it down into small pieces. You can then start with the easy parts you can finish before tackling the time-consuming parts of the task. When you do this, you will be able to see how you can achieve the deadline.
For me, I like to work the other way around. I like to take the bull by its horns and tackle the tough bits. This way I can pace myself through the easier parts and still have some time left to reveal the time-consuming parts before I submit my final work.
#7 Work without any distractions
When you have a project, make sure to work in an area that does not have any distractions. Keep your workspace clean and turn off all your social media accounts and notifications.
Did I ever reveal here that I do hid in toilets so I can work undisturbed? Sometimes, when the meeting rooms are booked out, I sneak an hour in the ladies and furiously type away. Even now as a freelancer, I do hide in my toilet to do my best work (in reality, hiding from my child).
#8 Ask for help
If the task before you is difficult, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, projects can be time consuming if you do it alone and with the help, it can make a difference.
One thing for sure, I will always ask for help to proofread my work. Or sometimes, a sounding board to bounce off ideas is great too.
#9 Know when you can’t meet a deadline
If you think you can’t work on a project with the given deadline, be ready to admit it. While your team leader or client will be disappointed with it, they will understand once you tell them why you can’t meet the deadline. This will also reduce the risk of meeting any mishaps that will push the deadline further.
Honesty work best in this situation. Rather to admit that you need more time than to hand over sloppy work.
#10 Speak to your client or team leader about the outcome
You need to make sure you regularly communicate with your client or team leader regarding the project. This will help you know whether you are on the right track or something needs to be changed. In turn, it will help them stay updated with the project and assure them that you are on the case.
Deadlines are not really hard to meet if you have a gameplan in place to meet them. With these steps above, I am sure that you can meet any deadline that comes your way and do it well.
Do you have any strategy in place? Please do share with us how you manage to meet your deadlines at work.
For productivity tips at work, here are some useful articles:
Guest Post: How Sleep Affects Productivity at Work
6 Apps that increase Your Productivity
8 Steps to Digital Productivity
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