How To Make Your Deadlines Every Time
Deadlines can sneak up on you. You think, OK I’ve got two weeks to finish this project, so you place it on hold. Then 24 hours before it’s due, you’re suddenly geared up and stressed out trying to finish the project on time. Watching that calendar date come closer and closer, or completely forgetting the deadline completely, is not a great business strategy when trying to remain professional. Deadline adrenaline rushes can help deal with unexpected events but should never be a part of your strategy. Here are 5 ways to make sure you make your deadlines every time.
1. Break Down Your Bigger Tasks Into Smaller Pieces
Take in the big picture of your workload. Look at each of the projects and their deadlines. Then create for yourself smaller projects within those larger projects. Create deadlines along the way. This way, when your big deadline shows up, you’ve already completed the better part of the project in smaller increments.
2. Use Technology To Stay Ahead
You live in the year 2015; act like it. Don’t try and keep up with all your projects and deadlines in your head or on small post-it notes scattered around your desk. Use calendars, your smartphone, and apps to help you stay on task. There are so many easy applications out there to help you stay organized. Do your research and find (then use) the best organization strategy to help you stay on task.
3. Get Started
Getting started sounds easy, but sometimes it isn’t. Set aside the time to just stare blankly at your computer if necessary. Type words and hope they start making sense. (None of this is good advice…) The reality is though, that unless you position yourself to start… nothing will get done. Your project won’t start itself while you watch that TV show. So put aside time to get started, even if you don’t know quite yet how you are going to start.
4. Reward Yourself
Have a plan to reward yourself when you’ve finished your project. You know yourself best; set up rewards that you know will motivate you. Maybe if you’ve broken your task into several smaller tasks, maybe you are allowed a 10 minute break for each task you finish. Or perhaps once you’ve finished that major project, you go out to dinner at your favorite local restaurant. Either way, have a reward system set up for yourself that will help you power through to the end.
5. It’s Ok To Ask For Help
Don’t ever be afraid to say, “I need help.” Sometimes your project may be too much; you won’t be a hero because you don’t make your deadline… all by yourself. Recruit help if you need it. It’s better to finish the job on time and well, instead of having the project loom over you unfinished.
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Henry Rarick is a marketing specialist who focuses on supporting hard money lenders. He is passionate about making things happen on time and on point.