The progress and quality of your work ethics depend on efficiency and the ability to finish work on time. If you are able to finish your tasks before the scheduled deadlines, that’s a big indicator of long term success.
This write-up focuses on different tips for meeting deadlines effectively. Let’s go through them one by one and recap at the end.
1. Supervision and Scheduling of Timeframe:
One should be cautious about meeting deadlines way ahead. In one of our previous posts, we talked about different time management matrices. One of the matrix detailed the importance of the task as per their respective priorities.
Primarily we should focus on meeting the time frame by maintaining the decorum through constant check and balance system. Make yourself accountable for whatever work you do. It is good to report to a senior member of the organization, but supervision and scheduling start at a very personal level.
2. Make a List:
Keep a list of everything that you have to do on a daily basis. This activity may seem like a ritual to you, but those people who have a to-do list at hand, they tend to do better than their counterparts. As a matter of fact, you can sign-up for nTask to create your very first to-do list to get the ball rolling.
3. Keep in Touch With More Comprehensible Timeline:
Sometimes, the timelines are convoluted. Especially when you have different projects running simultaneously, you need to scale your priorities as the deadlines go by. In this case, ask your clients about a clear deadline and try to deliver the project as per their priority order. Scheduling weeks in advance helps to get out of the pickle later.
4. Backup Your Efforts With Appropriate Resources:
If you are pressed for meeting deadlines in a hurry, make sure you have some resources to fall back on. Call it your Plan B. Sometimes, we need to move fast to cater to our clients’ requirements. Given such predicaments and the nature of the business, we can set some resources aside that will help us later down the row.
Let’s say, you have a long term customer related to designing projects. If you have an idea about the kind of work he/she expects, you can set up different mock projects to demonstrate to him/her later. Meanwhile, you can work on other projects that are equally critical in nature.
This phenomenon is very common in the freelancing industry. At times, freelancers have to juggle different clients — and since these individuals don’t have to do the same things over and over again, they already prepare for everything in advance.
5. Do an Understandable and Translucent Completion of Your Project:
Always try to deliver a complete project. You’re going to have to work numerous hours, but delivering a finished project is much better than delivering something in partial. Clients don’t tend to forget such fallacies easily, and word around the industry spreads fast.
In certain special circumstances, it is not easy to deliver upon a request. For such occasions, you can promise for a re-delivery on so-and-so date. Designers are more fortunate because they can deliver a number of prototype designs that give them enough wiggle room for other projects.
6. Breakdown your Work:
Breaking down a complex project into simpler parts turns out to be more convenient rather than dishing out your full effort at the eleventh hour. To do so, breakdown your entire task in various steps, and then go over those steps on a daily basis. By the time, the deadline closes in, you will have finished everything in advance.
7. Concentrate on Easy Steps, First:
In continuation with the aforementioned tip, try to concentrate on easy tasks first. By scaling the difficulty level of your projects, tasks, and subtasks, you are ensuring that you won’t feel overwhelmed or challenged at any given time.
Besides, it is always easy to move from an easy task to a more difficult one because the human brain adapts quickly to change that way.
8. Lump the Ample Time:
This means you should not be doing other things during your working hours. Mark your schedule and work accordingly. Don’t substitute miscellaneous stuff with your project’s workflow. Yes, there are distractions and those important phone calls that we need to attend, but that can be set to low priority while actual work is going on.
9. Mark the Initiation and Completion Date:
Always write down the start and completion date of a project in your diary. In case you are not as old fashioned as us and don’t carry a diary around, you can maintain a log in a journal app. Doing so will help you to track the progress and amount of you put into that specific project. Later on, when something similar comes up, you will have an idea about how the last project went, and how long it will take you to deliver the current project.
Following this principle will not only polish your skills to deliver on time, but it will also give you a good idea about the completion time that’s needed to be pitched to the clients.
10. Communicate and Collaborate:
Whether you are working independently, or as a team, it is always better to communicate and collaborate with one another. What’s more important is the communication maintained between you and your clients. Keep them informed if there is a slight chance of delays. This way, the client won’t be as much furious as he is supposed to when a deadline is missed by accident or something.
11. Don’t Try to be Over Efficient:
Efficiency is a good thing; everyone loves that. But when it gets carried away, you will end up doing more harm than good. If it is not easy to meet a deadline, you should make apologies whenever and wherever it’s possible. Clients appreciate honesty more than over efficiency and over-commitment.
12. Learn From Your Faults
Maintain a journal about your shortcomings and pitfalls. Learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them the next time. You should also note down your clients’ reaction in such cases. Doing so will help you to handle other prospects should the situation come to that.
13. Work Over-time If Necessary:
There’s no harm in working overtime to rush a deadline. Everyone does that. Working overtime will only enable you to become efficient and resilient for future challenges.
14. Realignment Strategies:
We all make mistakes. The important thing is not to repeat them more often. If you have a client with a dissatisfactory experience, follow up with them. Chances are that some of the clients will get back to you with a detailed response about your shortcomings. Learn from such indicators and highlight them whenever it’s possible.
Negotiations always come in handy when removing the deadlocks from a long term perspective.
Some say that meeting deadlines is an art. Do you agree with this statement? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.
Originally published at https://www.ntaskmanager.com on March 18, 2020.