Deadlines can be deadly, as simple as that. Short deadlines, especially having a few hours can be nerve-wracking for any person. The productivity of the people is usually judged as for how much they can comply with the deadlines. So, it is quite natural people look for tips and directions from anyone so that they never miss a deadline again.
I have written this article to keep in mind some aspects on which students and professionals can work on and the factors that make them miss a deadline. So, these are the top 10 tips to avoid any delay in the future and be able to complete all your tasks within the time allotted to you.
#1. One Step at a Time
This is probably one tip you will get from most of the people but a critical one. Often is the case that when people are given a task, they don’t divide it into different parts and steps and try to finish it as soon as possible. Trying to achieve goals one step at a time gives you total control over completing a part of the task with full confidence. The task also doesn’t look that big and impossible to achieve if it is broken down into several parts. So make this a habit for completing tasks parts of tasks efficiently.
#2. Don’t Let Procrastination Creep In
This is one of the most common reasons why projects get delayed and don’t get completed on time. The red tape can also be attributed to delayed start and non-completion of projects in time as a person may be in need for the permission or resources to start a project especially in government and large organizations. Try to reach out to concerned people and explain your point of view in this regard. Also, always start a project with a positive mindset and have a firm belief in yourself so that you won’t beat about the bush and procrastinate endlessly.
#3. Getting Stuck in the Details
While it is good to know the details of a task so that you can complete it with full authority, taking too much time in the nitty-gritty of the things can make matters difficult for you. Instead, focus on completing the easier parts of the task first so that you will have time for completing the tougher ones later in the day. Don’t get lost in the details and focus on the first tip as well to get your work done without losing concentration.
#4. Know your Strengths and Weaknesses
Some projects get delayed, and the people working on them couldn’t finish it inside the deadline as they don’t keep in mind their strengths and weaknesses related to working on a project. For example, if you are given a task to complete a project related to engineering, and you don’t have technical knowledge about it, you are bound to fail. So, the next time, assess your strong and weak points before taking on a project as a poor performance will reflect a bad picture of your capabilities.
#5. Set Goals and Track your Progress
The use of an easy task management tool is one of the best ways to set goals for a team and track their progress. It can also be beneficial for a small team or individual so that anyone can check his progress. The log about what every member of the team has done so far and what further actions are needed to complete it can be discussed through such software or a tool in an easy way.
#6. Be Proactive
Being proactive solves many problems at work and making sure you always complete your work within the deadline is one of them. One way is to start researching the task that you know will be assigned to you shortly as in many cases people do have an idea about what sort of tasks will be assigned to them. In this way, you’ll be one step ahead right from the word go and will have ample time to finish any project inside the given deadline.
#7. Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
If you have the option of setting a deadline yourself, give yourself a cushion of a few extra days or hours depending upon the nature of project/task. Do this even if you are sure that you can easily complete the task inside the deadline. And then work hard to achieve it well before the allotted time so that to over-deliver and make a strong case for yourself. On the other hand, if you are getting an utterly unrealistic deadline, speak up at the right time, otherwise, once you’ll commit, then it will reflect badly if you’ll be not able to complete the work on time.
#8. Ask for Help
If you are stuck at some juncture of the task/project, don’t be shy in asking for help. You never know what tip of assistance you can get that can help you in completing a task in a manner even easier than your current one. Trying to solve the problem frantically on your own makes the problem worse, and in most cases, you’ll miss the deadline. For example, if you don’t know what is Kanban board, you need to simply ask it from the PM or any relevant person you can contact immediately. Else you will end up with wasting a lot of time and miss the deadline too.
#9. Have a Plan B or C
There are times when you are simply too busy with work or can’t find any way out to deal with a tough task. The method or process you know to complete such a task may be outdated or simply not suitable. A setback or a surprise roadblock can also be a problem in finishing off a task successfully. Here you need a Plan B to tackle the problem before the deadline. Also again being proactive will help you in this regard. Ask your manager or a senior colleague what possibly can go wrong in a particular project and build up a Plan B or Plan C, just in case.
#10. A Test of your Character
A deadline looming large on a person can force him to push the panic button even if the situation is under control. A large or complicated project can be a real test of your character as to how strong and focused you can be in dealing with scenarios that superficially seems out of hand. You need to put up a good show in front of rest of the team member or your manager that you are capable of pulling off the required task even as the situation looks extremely grim with the deadline just around the corner.
Over to you
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