As expected, deadlines can be both daunting and at the same time, inspiring, either way once a deadline is set, your time to deliver has began. Who likes to have a deadline looming? No one we guess! The only thing worse however, is not meeting this deadline.
For some people, they aren’t paying enough attention and the deadlines always catch them unawares. Others because of their meticulousness spend so much time on every detail of a project that they unknowingly miss the deadline. Also, there are times when inevitable things happen and immediately, you knock your deadlines off their tracks.
Why Deadlines Matter
Deadlines are given for various reasons:
- To ensure accountability: It’s easy to delay or to forget a task if there is no agreed date for delivery. Deadlines help to prevent this and keep you accountable.
- To promote ease and a smooth work: Deadlines help us to portion work in a way that erases stress and ensures that the goal is achievable.
- To set expectations. Deadlines help to set clear expectations on deliverables and when to deliver. This means that we have full take control of our work, time and energy.
It’s better to Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
When asked to provide a deadline for a project, always be cautious and state a date that’s at least a few days behind when you think you will be able to finish the project. Finishing a project and turning it in days ahead of time will make you look like very efficient, and true to your words. Also, if a client or supervisor is giving you a deadline that it is unrealistic, be bold enough to say so politely. State clear and reasons as to why more time is needed for the project and then go ahead and do an excellent job and meet the deadline you gave.
You can ask for Help
If you’re running out on time and it looks like you might not finish the project before your deadline, don’t be shy to ask others to help you. A lot of people think that this will give the impression that they can’t handle the project but this is far from it. Your Co-workers can help out when you’re in a tight corner and even a loved one can pitch in to ease the load if you ask them to. If they can’t help out on the actual project, they may be able to take additional tasks off your neck so you can devote more time to hitting the deadline.
Get the Right tools
Before embarking on a project, make sure that you have the tools you need to get the job done in time. When you have the people, technical support, equipment, training, or materials ready and available in time, you most likely will meet your deadlines. If you can’t have access to the essential tools you need, you may have to suggest a later schedule, or ask that the quantity of work be reduced.
Get rid of distractions
Staying diligent and executing your project promptly requires discipline. Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube – and the rest are all great, but they impede productivity. What sets out as a quick visit through social media can turn into a three-hour distraction that leaves you wondering why you are not being productive. So to avoid distractions, turn off your phone and give your work your complete attention.
Structure your project
Remember that structure and organization is important and a structured project means you aren’t confused and you know exactly what you’re doing and when, too. The structuring of your projects should begin at the idea stage, which is where you brainstorm and structure the project in a way that’s easy to understand and complete.
Meeting deadlines is an indicator of how seriously you take your work, business or the success of your company. If you have any problems with meeting deadlines or your reliability and seriousness, these tips above will help you consistently hit your deadlines.
With proper organization and focus, it’s actually not difficult to complete your work promptly. Who knows, from now on, you might even become known for handing work in before the deadline.