It’s a situation that all of us are familiar with – a deadline that’s looming over you while you stress about whether or not you’re going to manage to get your work done on time. Worse still is when you just know that you’re going to be missing a deadline, and you have to wonder about what the result of doing so will be.
You and I both know that in today’s world, our professional reputations are everything. And that reputation is affected by two things: the quality of the work we do and whether or not we complete our tasks in time.
Just like everyone else, I struggle to meet my deadlines every so often. However, I’m fully aware that they need to be met, come what may. For those of you who frequently find yourselves in a similar situation, I’ve listed some of my best, cannot-fail tricks to managing time and meeting deadlines.
Have a list of the tasks you need to complete to meet your deadlines, and list them in order of importance. This gives you a clear guideline of what needs to get done first and serves as a structure for completing your project. Try to avoid starting a less important task before the more important ones are complete – this ensures you don’t fall behind and have to work overtime.
2. Set realistic deadlines
If you get to provide input on the deadline(s) for your project(s), make sure you’re aware of your capabilities and existing workload before creating a timeline. While the promise of an impossibly quick deadline may seem like an impressive declaration, setting – and meeting – a realistic deadline will ensure that your superiors and clients will be able to trust your word, now and in the fixture.
3. Delegate If you need to
It can be tempting to try and complete a project by yourself without additional help. However, not all projects are designed to be completed by a single person. If you can, don’t worry about delegating tasks to other team members, staff, and your juniors. While the entire project as a whole cannot be outsourced, delegation can help ensure you meet deadlines for larger projects. Additionally, effective delegation also helps display leadership abilities.
4. Ask for help
If you get overwhelmed, don’t worry about asking for help. All of us are occasionally faced with a task that we cannot complete individually and need help in order to complete. No matter whether you need extra guidance, help over a particular section of the project, or even a deadline extension, make sure to ask for what you need and don’t let a fear of failure hold you back.
Just like we’ll all worry about our abilities to miss a deadline at some point in our lives, we’ll also miss deadlines at times. However, these tips should help keep these moments to a minimum and help ensure that you meet the deadlines set in front of you at work and at home.