7 Tips to Help Meet Deadlines at Work
Deadlines are important and missing them can affect the workplace and your reputation. Here are seven tips to help meet them.
Deadlines have mixed views. Some workers thrive on them while others find them the most annoying of time-management tools.
Nevertheless, it is important to meet deadlines.
Not only are they a practical way of avoiding inconveniences down the road, but it also has an effect on your reputation.
By meeting deadlines consistently, people will know you are someone they can count on.
Your reputation will be seen as professional, and more than likely, they will be willing to offer assistance when you need to meet a deadline.
These seven tips will help you meet deadlines effectively and consistently.
Make an Assessment
Some deadlines are unattainable from the beginning, especially when you are working on your own.
When receiving a task with an unrealistic deadline, it is your responsibility to speak up.
Express your concerns to your manager and ask if coworkers can help to get the job done on time.
It is better to express concerns than to accept an assignment, miss the deadline and make an excuse for why you could not get it done.
Once you get the necessary help, share the accomplishment with your colleague and let them know that you can return the favour if they need any help in the future.
Confirm the Deadline
After determining that the workload is manageable, the next thing to do is to ask your manager to confirm the deadline.
Rely on something that will allow you to track when you’ll work on the project and the deadline, whether it is electronic or a paper calendar.
Break Down the Task into Mini Deadlines
It may seem like you have a lot of time and you may be tempted to wait until the deadline approaches but that time will go fast.
Leaving it late will also make the project more difficult.
Instead, set deadlines for specific tasks in order to make a big project more manageable.
Small rewards are valuable time management tools to lean on.
Celebrating milestones can provide the mental boost that you need to continue and meet deadlines.
When accomplishing a mini deadline, reward yourself by taking a break.
Career Expert Vicki Salemi says: “Sometimes we’re so driven that our brain goes into overdrive, and we need to take a step back.”
Block Off Your Time
Devoting blocks of time in your calendar to specific tasks will allow you to fully utilise your time at work.
For example, you might designate 10 am to 11 am on Fridays to give your boss progress updates. Put it in your calendar and make an appointment with yourself that you’re unlikely to break.
Include Additional Time
When creating time blocks in your calendar, it is important to factor in additional time, especially for detail-oriented tasks that will require you to proofread your work.
This way, you will have more time to adjust your work without any pressure.
Another reason to give yourself extra time is because there may be setbacks and delays.
Get Rid of any Distractions
Staying focused is important but many people make the mistake of getting distracted by their smartphones or social media.
The best thing to do is to turn off phone alerts or even put your phone in a different room.
To prevent chatty colleagues from distracting you, close your office door, move to a quiet part of the office, or hang a sign on your cubicle that indicates you’re busy.
Building a reputation for yourself as someone who can always meet deadlines will go a long way, especially when it comes time for your manager to review your compensation.