Set Goals, (+) Attitude, Checklist, Time, Setbacks, Deadline, Tools, ASAP, Strengths, Prioritize, SWOT, Prioritize, Focus, Best Time, Distractions, Rewards, League of Colleagues, Mgt, Re-Charge.
Why? Whether working full time in an office or freelance at home or on your business, professionals deal with deadlines regularly. Deadlines are a necessary tool to ensure project tasks finish on time and work continues smoothly. Knowing the methods used to meet deadlines gives you practical tools you can use to accomplish your work by the time it’s due. In this article, we discuss why meeting deadlines is important and offer tips to guide you toward completing your goals on time.
Detailed Definition of a Deadline?
A deadline is a date and time by which a project, or part of one, is due. Assigned at the outset of your project, the deadline is the latest possible time by which either your manager or client expects the work completed and turned in. Meeting a deadline means finishing and submitting your work by or before the time and date assigned to you. Related: 18 Tips for Handling and Avoiding Deadline Stress at Work
Why is it important to meet Deadlines?
When given a deadline, it’s your responsibility to complete the job assigned to you by the time designated by either your superior or client. They chose this deadline based on the specific objectives of the project at hand, so meeting it is important for the achievement of those goals. Reasons your deadline is important include:
- Ensuring the work gets done: Most projects require completing multiple tasks. Setting a deadline is a way to make sure you complete each objective before moving on to future steps.
- Staying on track: Your project managers and clients have a specific timeline they’re following. Setting deadlines allows them to monitor completed tasks, and meeting deadlines keeps progress on track for completion before the decided-upon time.
- Setting clear goals: Deadlines are often the result of breaking down a larger project into smaller, specific objectives. By setting a deadline, those in charge of that project define each step necessary to accomplish their goals.
- Preventing a backlog of work: Setting a deadline and sticking to it allows for the completion of tasks one by one so that each task can receive the focus it needs.
- Discovering issues early on: Working toward a deadline helps you find potential issues and solve them before they become a problem for the project.
Read more: Why Deadlines Are Important
18 Tips to meet Deadlines
Every project given a deadline requires its own processes for accomplishing it, but there are common methods you can use to keep yourself on track. Here are 18 ways to finish your work on time:
#1. Understand your end Goal
There are two key components to meeting a deadline: Completing your work on time and completing it the correct way. In order to ensure what you’re turning in is what the client wants, you must understand the specific goal you’re trying to achieve. Be clear on what your project manager or client expects of you. Ask questions until you understand the specifics of what they’re asking of you.
#2. Cultivate a Positive (+) Attitude
The attitude you bring with you sets the tone for your work environment, so make it a positive one. Embrace the deadline as a challenge for you to meet so you can further hone your skills and grow into a better asset for your company. Viewing things positively creates motivation to help you keep working and meet your goal.
#3. Make a Checklist
Create a Checklist of all the steps you must take to complete your project. Be specific and note the function of each task on your list. This keeps you aware of exactly what you’re trying to accomplish at all times. Refer to your checklist often and check off the steps you’ve successfully completed to track your progress. Seeing you grow nearer to your goal is another way to keep up your motivation while you’re completing your work.
#4. Budget your Time
To make sure you’re able to finish your project before your deadline, it’s helpful to make a plan. This information keeps you aware of what’s left to do, how long you need to do it and when you need it done. Stick to your schedule to keep your progress consistent. Make adjustments to the plan throughout the project to ensure it remains accurate. For your plan, figure out:
- Specific tasks you must complete.
- Estimates of how long each task will take.
- Timelines for each of those tasks.
#5. Predict potential Setbacks
Use your experience to predict the typical problems you might encounter on a project. This prevents you from being surprised by potential setbacks and lets you prepare solutions before problems may occur so your work can continue unhindered.
#6. Give yourself an earlier Deadline
A good way of ensuring you can meet your deadline is by finishing early. Pick a time shortly before your assigned deadline and set that as your new goal. Building in extra time helps you finish early and gives you a chance to review your work for accuracy before turning it in.
#7. Gather your Tools
Before you start, make sure you have the things you need to complete your work. Knowing what you have, and how to access it, gives you the confidence that you’re ready to move forward. It also saves you time later by having everything you need right at your fingertips.
Make sure you have your tools ready such as:
- Computer programs and apps
- Relevant data
- Wi-Fi passwords
- Access to your colleagues
- Client Email addresses
#7. Start as soon as possible – ASAP
The best way to meet the deadline is to start as soon as you can. When you’ve finished your preparations, get to work. Once you start, the more likely you are to keep it going. Make your first task the first draft so it doesn’t need to be perfect and work your way through it. If you’ve budgeted extra time for yourself, you can always come back later to improve it. Related: How To Create a Sense of Urgency Without Causing Stress
#8. Play to your Strengths first
Select the tasks from your checklist that you can do quickly and easily based on your strengths. This gives you the opportunity to finish multiple tasks at the beginning, bringing you closer to achieving your goal. Finishing the easiest tasks firsts gives you ample time afterward to work on the tasks you know will take longer to carry out.
#9. Do a SWOT Analysis
(S) Strengths you bring to the situation, because of your personality.
(W) Weakness that you have – that might jeopardize your Deadline & how to overcome.
(O) Opportunity/ies that meeting the Deadline offers
(T) Threats. What could happen if you don’t meet the Deadline and Consequences.
#10. Prioritize your Projects
If you’re working on multiple projects at once, create a schedule that incorporates all of them. It helps to differentiate the tasks by their relevant project. You can color-code them or use whichever method suits you best. Assign deadlines to each task in each project, so you’re always aware of what needs the most immediate work. You may find that another task requires your attention before moving on to your next step in the current project. Related: How to Prioritize Tasks in the Workplace
#11. Focus on One Task at a time
When you know which task you need to work on next, devote your attention to only that one. Though you have other tasks that require attention, focusing on one at a time allows you to make sure you’ve thoroughly completed one step before moving on to the next. Checking for accuracy now saves you time later.
#12. Work when you’re most Productive
Everyone has a different time when they perform best. Whether you find you’re the most effective first thing in the morning, before lunch or in the mid-afternoon, schedule as much of your deadline work during that period as you can. This may affect the overall quality of your last piece and could help you accomplish more goals more quickly.
#13. Use your Time wisely
Know how to maximize your time. Once you’ve estimated how long each task in your project should take, and you find yourself with enough time to complete even a minor task, use that time to get it done. The more often you complete even a small amount of work, the more likely you are to meet the deadline.
Minor tasks you can complete in a short time include:
- Writing a paragraph
- Researching a brief topic
- Sending an e-mail
- Reviewing your work
#14. Avoid Distractions
There’s nothing inherently wrong with checking your email in the middle of the workday. But if you feel like many of those minor distractions throughout the day are adding up to something bigger, figure out which changes would have the biggest positive effect on your productivity and implement them. To avoid such distractions, you could:
- Turn your phone off or set it across the room.
- Designate a specific time of day to read emails.
- Save online shopping for your lunch break.
- Turn off social media alert notifications.
Related: Tips for Overcoming Procrastination
#15. Develop a Reward system
If you want to create extra motivation for completing your work-related goals, create a reward system for yourself. Whether you’re looking forward to a hot cup of coffee or that candy bar you have hidden in your drawer, providing additional positive reinforcement is a helpful tool for achieving project milestones on your way to meeting deadlines.
#16. Use your Colleagues
Every member of a team has their own set of strengths. If there’s a part of your project with which you need help, reach out to one of your colleagues for advice. This can save you from needing to search for an answer to your question, and you can learn from your colleague so you know what to do next time without having to ask. You should only ask your coworkers for help when necessary because they’re likely working on their own deadlines.
#17 Communicate with your Manager
Keep your project manager or client updated with your progress. If anything unexpected has occurred, let them know the specific solution you’ve developed to fix it. If you must miss a deadline, your client or manager should know what has happened and how you worked through it. This prevents them from being surprised and shows you’re trying to keep things on track. If you’re still able to keep your deadline, it shows you’ve been able to work through the challenge and still deliver on time.
#18. Restore your Energy
An important step in meeting deadlines is giving yourself a break. Sometimes, you just need to step away for a few minutes and gather your thoughts before returning to work. Find whichever method restores your energy best and use it periodically to rejuvenate yourself and your work. Just five minutes set aside for yourself can make a major difference in completing a task and moving closer to meeting the deadline. A few things to try include:
- Getting a glass of water.
- Having a snack.
- Stretching your arms, legs and back.
- Taking a brief walk.
- Using a meditation app.
COMMENTS: Do you know any more Deadline Tips?
from Indeed.com 12/22 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
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