Love-hate relationship is a perfect description of my affair with deadlines. Deadlines are important because they give you a structured workflow but, it can be very stressful at times. Not to mention, you may encounter several due dates scheduled all at once.
Picture yourself heading towards the end of the day while accomplishing about 30% of your task or project that is due tomorrow. The clock is ticking fast. The real pressure is on. If you feel like panicking – pause! Calm yourself down. You do not want your clients to end your collaborations nor do you want your reputation to be destroyed by your lack of time management skills. Instead, eliminate the distractions and focus on the task itself.
Also, avoid this stressful situation from happening again by following these tips:
1. SET REALISTIC GOALS
No matter how excellent your time management and organization skills are, you will still find yourself in a difficult position if your deadlines are not realistic. If you are a freelancer, clients will typically ask you to assign a deadline by yourself. When this happens to me, I make it a point to have at least 1-2 days in excess in case emergencies arise such as requested revisions. But if you work in the office, ask your boss for at least 1-2 hours in excess to create a high-quality project.
2. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
In a world where the cat videos rule, you must eliminate all the distractions. Close the unnecessary tabs, keep your handphone on silent, and refrain from logging onto your social media accounts. By doing so, you will find yourself to be more productive than ever.
3. TAKE THINGS SERIOUSLY
Beating the deadlines is a serious act. Commit yourself entirely to the tasks by writing them in a piece of paper or in an Excel spreadsheet. Refer back to the list to reduce your procrastinating tendencies.
4. RANK EACH TASK
Before you begin, you must look at your list and contemplate on which project is the most important. Mark it as “high priority”, which you will aim to finish first. After getting passed the time-consuming and complex tasks, you will find yourself accomplishing more as you finish the smaller tasks quickly.
5. REWARD YOURSELF
After a hard day’s work and seeing your clients or boss satisfied, you must reward yourself for a job well done. No other questions asked.